SFPD Officer Pleads Not Guilty to Child Molestation Charges in Concord

January 27, 2014 16:33 pm · 29 comments


A San Francisco police officer pleaded not guilty this morning in Contra Costa Superior Court to 10 felony counts of child molestation and possession of child pornography.

Officer Richard Hastings, 38, of Concord, is accused of molesting a 15-year-old boy on several different occasions between June and August.

Deputy District Attorney Alison Chandler said Hastings was arrested in August after the boy was caught sneaking out of his own home to meet with the officer.

Defense attorney Eileen Burke said the pair had met on an online dating site and the boy had claimed he was of legal age.

Burke argued for Hastings’ $910,000 bail to be lowered because he “is no more danger than anyone who signs up for an online dating service.”

Chandler, however, said the boy was clearly underage and was stopped by police that night in August on suspicion of a curfew violation.

When police contacted Hastings, he allegedly said, “Don’t worry, I’m a police officer,” Chandler said.

“He was using his police status to get out of the trouble he was about to be in,” she said.

Chandler said prosecutors did not immediately charge him after his Aug. 21 arrest because further investigation was needed, including into the contents of his electronic devices.

She said the FBI reviewed those contents and found child pornography involving an 8-year-old boy.

Chandler said Hastings told investigators that after he was involved in a police shooting a few years ago, he began “doing riskier things.”

“He is reckless, he is cavalier,” she told Judge Bruce Mills. Burke, the defense attorney, told Mills that her client “has been completely cooperative” and has not had any problems since his August arrest.

The judge decided to reduce Hastings’ bail to $100,000 and ordered him to return to court on March 7 to set a date for a preliminary hearing.

Hastings, a 13-year veteran of the San Francisco Police Department, was suspended without pay after his arrest.

Hastings is named in a federal civil rights lawsuit stemming from the 2011 death of Kenneth Harding, who police say accidentally shot himself during a shootout with Hastings and another officer after police tried to stop Harding for alleged fare evasion in San Francisco’s Bayview District.

At the time of the shooting, Harding was on parole in Washington after serving time for pimping a 14-year-old girl.

Advocates for Harding have questioned the Police Department’s version of events leading to his death, as well as whether it was necessary to use force against him.

Tracey Bell-Borden, a friend of Harding’s mother, attended this morning’s hearing and criticized Hastings.

“This is someone who was supposed to serve and protect,” Bell-Borden said. “This man, something is wrong with him.”

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Keith January 27, 2014 at 2:44 PM

“No more danger than anyone who signs up for an online dating service?”

There’s definitely something wrong with him.

Society has no idea what to do with sex offenders, and if the experts say they can’t be cured, I believe them.

With the recidivism rate, they need to remain in prison.

VikingPrincess January 27, 2014 at 3:14 PM

Kind of hard to believe his lawyer would use that as an analogy… online dating? Okaay.

Can you say... January 27, 2014 at 4:24 PM

Plea deal, in the interest of justice.

bob January 27, 2014 at 4:41 PM

After an officer involved shooting he started doing riskier things. I didn’t know sex with children was risky, I always thought is it was illegal. I guess we need to reclassify all our criminals as adrenalin junkies and people that partake in high risk activities. I guess if don’t break the law you are risk adverse.

Mark January 27, 2014 at 5:05 PM

Society is so sick of this, and no one has the answer. Sex offenders are everywhere, and so are kids. And then there are defense lawyers who have to defend them, and the lawyers are probably parents. Life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Adrenalin January 27, 2014 at 5:36 PM

Adrenalin fuels more than people realize, from extreme
sports to crime and everything in between . Most
police officers get this work because it is “exciting”.
Adrenalin fueled car chases , chasing suspects.
Let the counter posts begin but even criminals will
admit it’s the rush of trying to get away from police
or the rush of possibly getting caught. For some
it involves sex, the riskier the more intense the
sensation. Why else would you jump from a 1200
foot cliff or a perfectly good airplane, not for the view.

Atticus Thraxx January 27, 2014 at 6:15 PM

That man is in about as much trouble as any I’ve read about on Claycord.

dilligafman January 27, 2014 at 6:33 PM

and when approached by cpd he says ” its ok im a cop” what the f#@k???
public hangings people!!!

Jane Doe January 27, 2014 at 6:59 PM

prison isn’t going to cure him either. Should just put him in a mental institution after serving his sentence. Less money paid from the tax payers than keeping him in prison forever.

Meth Monster January 27, 2014 at 7:24 PM

Why? Why? Why? Then comes the how? Somebody that could ever look a child in a sexual manner should be put down like a rabid dog!!!!! Die & rot in H E double L!!!!!!

Officer Barbrady January 27, 2014 at 8:40 PM

Kudos to Concord PD for not buying the@ I’m a cop” story and pursuing this properly.
Good work.

Isa January 27, 2014 at 8:51 PM

How sad:(. I hope this child receives the counceling and support he needs.

mika January 27, 2014 at 9:18 PM

Pedophiles are found in families, schools, churches and police departments. They are working class citizens who are all around us. Everyone is suspect. Watch your children.

VikingPrincess January 27, 2014 at 9:36 PM

Yes…and many have an unconscious need to get caught. Their 15 minutes of shame is sometimes all they want.

But this is USA and he is innocent until proven otherwise, right?

Steve January 27, 2014 at 9:55 PM

Chemical castration.

gasai yuno January 27, 2014 at 10:08 PM

That’s just sick..

the other jj January 27, 2014 at 10:30 PM

listen to the children

Nancy January 27, 2014 at 11:30 PM

The only thing scarier than pedophiles is pedophiles in a position of authority. Life in prison w/out the possibility of parole.

Cowellian January 28, 2014 at 8:10 AM

Yeah, what Nancy said!

Cody January 28, 2014 at 8:46 AM

I know that I am probably going to get slammed for this comment, but did anyone see that it said that they “met on an online dating site and the boy had claimed he was of legal age”?? So, how in the world was this guy supposed to know this kid wasn’t an adult? When I was 15 I looked like I was possibly older and actually was able to buy alcohol without a fake ID….. why is it always the older one who gets scorned for this when it is very possible the kid lied and the adult had no idea? Its not like it was a little boy saying he was of legal age, 15 is hard to tell sometimes. I’m not defending what happened just wondering why everyone is automatically blaming the adult when it sounds like the kid lied about his age?

@cody January 28, 2014 at 9:30 AM

Let’s put on our thinking caps. Concord PD , if I read this right, took one look at the kid and decided he was under 18. Most 15 year olds don’t look like they are 18.

Here’s a cop, who knows the law, and can’t figure out a way to find out if the child was 18. Doesn’t work for me and I doubt it would work on a jury.Probably if the kid had shown him phony ID he might have a defense.

Real interesting to see what their online conversations said about age.

James Dean January 28, 2014 at 9:38 AM

TOTAL BS…If the kid misrepresented himself than the officer couldn’t have known….Let’s see about this….How many under age girls look like they are over 21..I’m sure guys that screw them don’t ask for proof of age…that’s the last thing on their mind! Shouldn’t be any different for guys. Drop the charges….Obviously the kid knew what he was doing…The parents are probably just pissed cause their son is gay and having sex…Get over it people!….Let the backlash of comments begin…LOL

VikingPrincess January 28, 2014 at 9:42 AM

Cody has a point. I’m waiting until more is known during the process.
Not an accusation to take lightly nor to make lightly.

The 1% January 28, 2014 at 9:43 AM

The fbi said they found child porn of an 8 year old kid on his computer. Did the 8 year old look 18 too?

VikingPrincess January 28, 2014 at 9:57 AM

I’m not making excuses, nor am I even comparing the situation with exception to the digital findings… but a handful of years back a young man either teen or barely adult was arrested for possession of child pornography despite his protests.

Somehow his parents pushed the envelope and a forensic investigation showed that someone was storing it on his computer memory (apparently done by sophisticated sickos so they aren’t could with the goods). Records indicated he never viewed them.

Either way – it went on for quite some time and ruined his reputation by the time they learned the truth.

I’m sure they found what they found etc..just prefer to see what unfolds.

Nancy January 28, 2014 at 11:38 AM

@ James Dean-23
I hope you don’t have any kids!

Well......... January 28, 2014 at 12:46 PM

I will never understand how stupid people are. “How was the cop suppose to know he is under age” Really !!!!!! How about Run his name !!!!! Oh and nevermind about the child porn they found on his computer. Im sure he will get off with a slap on the wrist thanks to the Mighty Blue Shield .10 grand for bail, What a joke

Theresa January 28, 2014 at 4:00 PM

Unfortunately, pedophiles get off way too easy whether they’re cops or not.

The victims are children. Children aren’t taxpayers, and they can’t vote.

None February 3, 2014 at 11:45 AM

These kind of people make me sick how can you do it to a child!!!!!

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