Jury Orders Cop to Pay $15,000 to Couple She Snooped on 167 Times

A South Florida police officer owes $15,000 in damages to a Broward County couple she illegally snooped on 167 times in two years, jurors decided Tuesday.

Pembroke Pines Police Officer Melodie Carpio admitted she broke the law and used her job to look up information about the couple – her boyfriend’s ex-wife and her new husband – on confidential law enforcement databases.

Carpio, a 41-year-old patrol officer, is personally liable to pay the civil judgment to Cindy Thibault and Claude Letourneau. She will also owe significantly more in legal fees to the attorneys for the victims and her defense.

The couple smiled and looked relieved when jurors announced their verdict after a one-day trial in federal court in Miami.

Though the case was based on civil violations of federal law, which makes it illegal for officers to abuse public trust and privacy laws, the Pembroke Pines case was complicated by the fact that Carpio’s boyfriend went through a messy divorce with Thibault and the two couples have court-ordered shared custody of a child from that marriage.

One male juror told the South Florida Sun Sentinel that the jury believed Carpio had wronged the couple and needed to be held liable but they thought both sides in the case played a role in perpetuating the conflict.

The jury said its verdict of $7,500 to each of the victims was intended to cover a combination of their actual damages as well as punitive damages, intended to punish Carpio and deter her – and other officers – from committing similar violations of the law in the future.

Police officers rarely face criminal charges when they use law enforcement databases to snoop on people for personal reasons – even though it’s against the law.

In Pembroke Pines, an officer pried into her boyfriend’s ex-wife and new husband 167 times in two years.

Police officers rarely face criminal charges when they use law enforcement databases to snoop on people for personal reasons – even though it’s against the law.

In Pembroke Pines, an officer pried into her boyfriend’s ex-wife and new husband 167 times in two years.

The couple’s attorneys, Michael Glasser and Eric Rudenberg, said they welcomed the verdict and believe it sends a message to law enforcement officers who abuse their powers.

“I don’t think it sent a strong enough signal that this level of abuse won’t be tolerated,” Glasser said. “But I respect the jury’s verdict and it did send a signal – she owes them $15,000.”

Thibault and Letourneau had wanted to settle the case outside of court and want everyone to focus on getting along for the sake of their children, he said.

Carpio’s attorney Robert Buschel said his client also hopes everyone can put the dispute behind them and move on, also for the children’s sake.

“As for the dollar amount, it’s perfectly within reasonable levels for the conduct,” Buschel said. “Nobody is happy to pay that kind of award. She’s not a corporation and she’s not the city, this is a significant amount of money to her.”

Carpio will end up owing the attorneys for both sides more than she owes the victims.

She testified she paid her attorney, Buschel about $20,000 in fees last year and still owes him more money. He declined to say how much she owes him. The couple’s attorneys said they have not yet estimated their legal fees and it will be up to a federal judge to rule on how much Carpio owes them.

Carpio has worked for the police department for 14 years and testified that she earns more than $100,000 a year from her basic salary, off-duty details and other compensation from the department.

For three years, Claude Letourneau was bombarded by harassing anonymous emails, text messages and letters that contained information about his personal life.

When he started digging, he discovered the culprit was Pembroke Pines police officer Melodie Carpio, who had tapped into confidential databases…

For three years, Claude Letourneau was bombarded by harassing anonymous emails, text messages and letters that contained information about his personal life.

When he started digging, he discovered the culprit was Pembroke Pines police officer Melodie Carpio, who had tapped into confidential databases…

For full story visit: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/crime/jury-orders-cop-to-pay-dollar15000-to-couple-she-snooped-on-167-times/ar-BBIc72M?ocid=sf

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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 5620 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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