Salt River Police Officer Sentenced to 6 Months in Jail for Unlawful Sexual Conduct

A former Salt River Police Department officer accused of sexually abusing a woman in his squad car was sentenced Friday to six months in jail and lifetime probation, and must register as a sex offender.

Jay Wu, 46, pleaded guilty to attempt to commit unlawful sexual conduct on June 30 in Maricopa County Superior Court.

Wu had originally been charged with kidnapping, sexual abuse, unlawful sexual conduct of a peace officer, assault, and tampering with physical evidence.

According to police, Wu had a 43-year-old woman in his patrol car as part of a criminal investigation in May 2016.

The woman told police that Wu offered to drive her back to her Scottsdale home but instead drove past it and parked next to a residential wall in the neighborhood so she wouldn’t be able to open the car door.

She said Wu knew she was vulnerable at the time and was going through a rough divorce that had put her in a financial burden.

When confronted, Wu told investigators he was only trying to pat her down as part of his police work But the woman told police that it was a sexual attack and that, afterward, Wu gave her his business card and told her to call him if she ever needed anything.

The woman immediately told her family and the Scottsdale Police Department about the encounter, police said.

She was emotional as she made a statement before the court Friday. The only time she felt safe, she said, was when she left Arizona briefly this summer. Once back in town, her fear returned, as did her paranoia that Wu was following her.

She said she has been diagnosed with PTSD and has spent a fortune on therapy sessions, yet still has multiple panic and anxiety attacks.

Judge Michael Kemp acknowledged the woman’s psychological trauma when sentencing Wu, telling him that he violated public trust as an officer. It doesn’t seem his victim will ever be able to trust authority, Kemp told Wu.

Wu had argued against being labeled a sex offender and said he is “not a sexual predator” and wanted Kemp to allow him to see his 5-year-old son.

Kemp agreed, saying that Wu was not a predator of children but that his crime proved to be evidence enough to register as a sex offender. Kemp also acknowledged Wu’s 16 years of military service and his lack of criminal history.