CoCo D.A. Declines to File Charges Against SFPD Officer in Molestation Case

August 30, 2013 19:53 pm · 35 comments

The Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office has declined to file charges pending further investigation in the case of a San Francisco police officer who was arrested last week on suspicion of child molestation in Concord, a prosecutor said today.

Concord police presented their case against 37-year-old Richard Hastings to the district attorney’s office in Martinez on Thursday, but prosecutors referred the case back to police “for additional investigation,” Senior Deputy District Attorney Nancy Georgiou said.

Police arrested Hastings in Concord on Aug. 21 after launching an investigation earlier this month between the officer and a 15-year-old, according to police. During the investigation, detectives developed sufficient information to arrest Hastings on suspicion of lewd and lascivious acts with a child, sodomy with a child under 16 years old and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, police said. He was taken to jail and was later released on bail. Harry Stern, Hastings’ attorney, could not immediately be reached for comment.

San Francisco police spokesman Officer Albie Esparza said Hastings was immediately placed on unpaid leave after his arrest and that the Police Department will conduct an internal investigation.

Hastings is also named in a federal civil rights lawsuit brought by the mother of Washington state parolee Kenneth Harding, who allegedly accidentally shot himself during a 2011 shootout with San Francisco Police.

Police said Harding, 19, fatally shot himself as he ran from officers who attempted to stop him in San Francisco’s Bayview District on July 16, 2011, after he allegedly failed to pay his bus fare.

According to police, the officers and Harding exchanged gunfire, but when Harding attempted to open fire on Hastings and Officer Matthew Lopez, he instead shot himself.

Harding had been on parole in Washington after serving time for pimping a 14-year-old girl, according to police.

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1 the other jj August 30, 2013 at 8:02 PM

the system,,
arrested,jailed,bailed,.then let go, judged by their own

2 Jerk August 30, 2013 at 8:05 PM

Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah, I’m an UmeriKan – Anyone that gets into trouble with the Law must be guilty, or they would have never been contacted by the Police.
You Morons.

3 huey9k August 30, 2013 at 8:06 PM

Looks like the CoCoCo D.A. is spineless.

4 Anon 44 August 30, 2013 at 8:11 PM

So much for justice.

5 Cracky McGee August 30, 2013 at 8:33 PM

Welcome to “Concord, Where Families Come First”

6 Cassandra August 30, 2013 at 8:33 PM

For “additional investigation?”

If detectives developed sufficient information to arrest Hastings, why send it back?

It doesn’t make any sense!

7 Bill S August 30, 2013 at 8:36 PM

Don’t rush to judgment… ” declined to file charges pending further investigation” means they’re dotting their i’s and crossing their t’s. I’m betting they will charge him when the time is right.

What has me shaking my head…Go a little further in the article where it says “Hastings is also named in a federal civil rights lawsuit brought by the mother of Washington state parolee Kenneth Harding, who allegedly accidentally shot himself during a 2011 shootout with San Francisco Police.” This guy’s Mom is suing because her felon parolee son shot and killed himself in a shootout with police. Helllllo…. why is this even still on the docket?

8 Anonymous August 30, 2013 at 8:40 PM

A counter suit against Harding’s mother is definitely in order. Talk about a frivolous law suit. She should have to pay all attorneys’ fees, court costs. etc. Seriously? Her crooked son shoots and kills himself while involved in a shootout with police and she expects compensation? This takes the whole concept of “entitlement” to a new low.

9 Anonymous August 30, 2013 at 8:44 PM

The problem with Peterson is that he, like so many other public officials, is beholden to the unions. This really smells like more corruption. Did the Police Officers’ unions contribute to his campaign for District Attorney, Concord City Council, and so on?

10 Craig August 30, 2013 at 8:58 PM

The federal rights lawsuit brought by the mother of blah, blah, blah is irrelevant!

Stick to the charges against the 15 year old kid.

He sounds like a pedophile to me. I’m sick of these morons!!!

11 ItchyScratchy August 30, 2013 at 9:00 PM

@Bill S #7 –

Uhm – read that again – running from police, exchanged gunfire with them, but only managed to kill himself.

Look up the term “throw away gun”. And look up “jumping to conclusions”.

What makes it hilarious is those that are saying “don’t jump to conclusions” on the child molester here, but go ahead and jump to conclusion on the other one.

Nothing like idiots calling out idiots for doing the same idiot thing!

12 Enfield303 August 30, 2013 at 9:01 PM

I like the part where Mr. Harding shot himself in a shoot out with police. Did the stupid a@@ not know which end the bullet came out of? And then a lawsuit? Only in America.

13 Dennis August 30, 2013 at 9:09 PM

I wonder if this 15 year old is a friend of Harding … or was, in SF, when Harding died.

14 A.Wapcaplet August 30, 2013 at 9:26 PM

OH BROTHER!!!

15 What A Joke August 30, 2013 at 9:29 PM

The Blue Shield at work.Cops get away with anything they want .SMH

16 bumper August 30, 2013 at 9:29 PM

Corruption, or do the facts not support prosecution?

17 Popobro August 30, 2013 at 9:35 PM

It’s a brotherhood. If it was you or me….. we would be guilty as charged and in prison waiting, wearing a red jumpsuit. Peterson looks for flaws in this case and the guy walks..

18 Anonymous August 30, 2013 at 9:56 PM

Dear poster 13
Are you competent nuts?

19 Dr. Jellyfinger August 30, 2013 at 11:21 PM

Could have been he suffers from E.D. The evidence wouldn’t stand up in court.

20 The Tick. August 31, 2013 at 12:53 AM

This is not to hard to understand.. The police investigated the situation with Hastings and this kid and I would guess most of the evidence they came up with was based statements given by the alleged victim.. The DA needs actual physical evidence to prosecute.. So let the police do their job and continue the investigation and stop trying to hang people when you don’t have a solid reason for it.. Like I said before.. If he’s a POS then hit’em with both barrels.. But unless you know just exactly what he’s done you make yourself look stupid when you say things like “This cop is a pedophile and should be executed” So many of the people who post here base everything on what they read here.. I guess they think “Well I saw it on Claycord so it must be true” I don’t know if I wanna even be a part of this anymore.. The website is interesting and informative but the some of the people are completely out of it..

21 Ricardoh August 31, 2013 at 10:01 AM

Even gay cops can be pedophiles. Why do you think no charges were filed.

22 John August 31, 2013 at 11:15 AM

By the way, Harding was shot by cops who chased him over a $2 Muni fare. Not only did they shoot him, they let him lie on the ground without any assistance until he died.

Here is the (very graphic) video of Harding trying to get up after being shot, surrounded by cops – no help …

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=G68UmLMO7CY

23 Think before you write August 31, 2013 at 11:44 AM

“Cracky McGee”& “What A Joke”: Please explain to me what Concord PD did wrong to justify your comment? Did they not arrest the guy? Did they not present the case to the District Attorney for prosecution? @ Cassandra getting a case returned for more follow up is not unusual. It might be as simple as they are waiting for lab results to the filing DA has additional questions they wanted answered from the victim or witnesses. If the DA didn’t want to file the case they would do the famous “No Complaint Filed in the interest of Justice” and that would be the end of that. The police only need probable cause, which is a relatively low standard of evidence. The DA needs beyond a reasonable doubt, the highest standard of evidence, for a conviction. The burden of proof is much higher for the DA than for the police and that is the real reason why most people arrested don’t get prosecuted. @ Popobro what brotherhood would that be. The famous Lawyer-Cop brotherhood? IF there really were a secret society brotherhood, Concord PD would have never arrested the guy and YOU & the rest of the public would have never known about it. @ Anonymous #9: Please explain to me exactly how Mark Peterson is “beholding” to the San Francisco Police Officer’s Association (union). So SFPOA gives monies to every DA’s Office in 9 bay area counties just on the off chance they might need a favor from DA’s Office that has absolutely no jurisdiction in the City/County they work? Brilliant use of money I’d say. Oh I get it. the members of the Concord POA investigated and wrote lengthy reports, arrested and booked the guy, released his name; Concord spend several thousands of dollars in crime lab fees just so the “Brotherhood” could pressure Peterson into not prosecuting the case for a guy they likely never met in their lives? To what end? For it to be public knowledge? If you really truly believe in conspiracies than the police would have not created a paper trail. They would have buried it immediately and stonewalled inquires. And last but not least, WHAT MAKES YOU THINK THE POLICE LIKE CRIMINALS ANYMORE THAN YOU DO, especially criminals and deviants they have to share a locker room with?

24 SadCase August 31, 2013 at 12:23 PM

This is sad. They should have thrown the book at him!

25 Anonymous August 31, 2013 at 12:41 PM

@Think before you write #23
You need to “Read before you write.” I wrote “beholden” not “beholding.” You are also reading far more into these comments, putting your own spin on things.

From first-hand experience, I know the district attorney’s office and other public agencies typically go easier on other public agencies and employees of public agencies than they do on private (unaffiliated) individuals. If you don’t know that, then you’re either really naive or part of the problem.

Perhaps you can explain why public-employee unions contribute so much to political candidates (from special districts to city councils to county board of supervisors and on up the food chain).

26 Dennis August 31, 2013 at 1:32 PM

@John Harding shot himself. It was Harding, not the cops, who decided to turn a “$2 fare” incident into a gunfight with police.
Also note Harding was pimping for a 14 year old prostitute. I wonder if that 14 year old, now 15, was a boy? Maybe even the same kid that was the ’cause’ of this arrest?
I agree that more investigation needs to be done.

27 Claycordian August 31, 2013 at 2:43 PM

According to the defense attorney quoted in this morning’s CCTimes, the 15 year old girl represented herself as an adult, and the relationship was “consensual”.

28 Atticus Thraxx August 31, 2013 at 3:57 PM

“f you don’t know that, then you’re either really naive or part of the problem.” Explain to me please Perry Mason, how being surprised or bothered that public agencies go easier on other public agencies folks is “part of the problem”? Explain to me please how lack of integrity is something we should be thankful for. This ought to be good.

29 Anonymous August 31, 2013 at 6:22 PM

@Atticus Thraxx-
You obviously have a problem if you have to frame your questions in that manner. So, explain to us please Judd for the Defense, why it isn’t a problem if public agencies go easier on other public agencies and why you don’t think the lack of integrity is a problem.

30 Guy Dudebro August 31, 2013 at 6:27 PM

Answer the question.

31 Atticus Thraxx August 31, 2013 at 7:23 PM

Yes, answer the question.

32 Anonymous August 31, 2013 at 7:58 PM

Yes, answer the question.

33 Teacher Wannabe August 31, 2013 at 11:42 PM

What happened to my post?

34 Think before you write September 1, 2013 at 11:33 AM

@ Anonymous 25 they contribute monies for the exact same reason everyone else does. They want to see the person in office who will best represent their needs, just like everyone else who contributes monies to a campaign. You still have not answered my question on how a San Francisco Police Officer got special treatment from the Contra Costa DA’s Office. If you got a case make it instead of just sniping from the sidelines and boo-hooing about life is not fair: Step up to the plate champ. Here is the number to the California State Attorney General’s Office:Office of the Attorney General, 1515 Clay Street Oakland, CA 94612-1499 Phone: (510) 622-2100. If the CalAG is beholding to public unions here is the contact information to the US Attorney General’s Office: U.S. Department of Justice 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20530-0001 Phone: 202-514-2000 or the Federal Bureau of Investigation: FBI San Francisco 450 Golden Gate Avenue, 13th. Floor San Francisco, CA 94102-9523 sanfrancisco.fbi.gov (415) 553-7400. Now’s your chance Anonymous to man up and make a difference.

35 Think before you write September 1, 2013 at 3:59 PM

Didn’t think so Anonymous. All bark and no balls

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