September 18, 2009 in Idaho

Former Sandpoint cop won’t face sexting charges

Associated Press
 

No criminal charges will be filed against a former Sandpoint police detective who authorities say sent sexually explicit photos and video to a woman he had arrested during a methamphetamine trafficking investigation.

Bonner County Prosecutor Louis Marshall said 29-year-old Christian James Higbee will not face charges because there is no indication the images sent with his cell phone were unwanted, the Bonner County Daily Bee reported Friday.

Sandpoint Police Chief Mark Lockwood said Higbee resigned in June.

The Idaho State Police investigated last spring after the Bonner County Sheriff’s Office received a copy of the video by a confidential informant.

According to an ISP report, the images included a nine-second video taken with a wireless phone camera that displayed explicit images of Higbee.

The woman told ISP Detective Julie Goacher that she met Higbee when he arrested her in 2006. According to the report, the woman said Higbee began sending her text messages about a year after her arrest and he asked her to send nude pictures of herself.

The woman said she complied because she was afraid Higbee would be able to use his authority to bring criminal charges against her or one of her relatives.

The report said the woman estimated she sent Higbee four pictures of herself, and that Higbee sent her 15 to 20 naked photos of himself. Three of the still images, the report said, show male genitalia.

The woman said Higbee never touched her, but he did attempt to arrange a late-night meeting in a city park. She declined the rendezvous.

The report said the woman refused to make a recorded telephone call to Higbee and did not want criminal charges filed against him.

“It is also clear from the investigation report as well as my conversations with Julie (Goacher) that there is nothing to indicate that any of the text messages or pictures sent by Mr. Higbee to (the woman) were unwanted,” Marshall wrote last spring in a letter advising ISP of his decision not to pursue charges. “(The woman) is clear that she had never told Mr. Higbee to stop this behavior until the time of this investigation.”

Higbee could not be reached for comment Friday by The Associated Press. A Sandpoint police spokeswoman said Higbee has moved out of state.

© Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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