San Jose Police Arrest Deputy For Sending Illicit Images to 17-Year-Old Girl

SAN JOSE — Authorities this week arrested a Santa Clara County correctional deputy they say requested illicit images from a 17-year-old girl he became friends with through a youth program.

The deputy, identified as Blaine Hopper, 23, also allegedly sent illicit images and videos of himself to the teen, police said.

“The images and videos were sexual in nature,” said San Jose police Sgt. Enrique Garcia.

Hopper and the teen developed a friendship over the course of five months while the two participated in a youth program, according to police. Garcia declined to name the program, citing the ongoing investigation, but he said it was not affiliated with the San Jose Police Department.

The suspect and the victim used social media to communicate with one another, police said.

On Tuesday, the police department’s covert response unit arrested Hopper at his home in San Jose. He was booked into county jail on felony charges of causing a minor to send harmful matter over the internet and distributing harmful matter to a minor over the internet.

In a statement, Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith said her office has taken “immediate steps” to address the allegations against Hopper but could not discuss his employment status.

“No one should have to be a victim of sexual coercion or harassment and there is absolutely no tolerance in the sheriff’s office for anyone who engages in this type of conduct,” said Smith, who also praised the teen for coming forward and vowed to protect her identity.