A suspended Prince George’s County, Maryland, police officer pleaded guilty after being accused of taking upskirt photos of multiple women, officials said.
Police said Officer James Sims was suspended from his job after attempting to take inappropriate photos of an off-duty officer from another jurisdiction with his cellphone. The incident occurred on June 1 at a Sports Authority in Bowie, Maryland.
Prosecutors said the woman saw Sims flee to his police car to escape the scene and filed a report. Sims was indicted on four counts of visual surveillance with prurient intent and two counts of misconduct in office.
Prince George’s County police said they launched an investigation with the state attorney’s office immediately after learning about the allegations. When they searched Sims' cellphone, other photos of unsuspecting women were found. At least two of the photos were taken during traffic stops last year.
Police Chief Hank Stawinksi said Sims' behavior does not represent other officers.
“Violations of the community’s trust are the most serious infractions a police officer can commit,” said Stawinski. “I would like to apologize to the community but also reassure our residents that this has been taken extraordinarily seriously as a form of corruption.”
Stawinski said he has worked with State Attorney Angela Alsobrooks to assure that Sims is held accountable for his actions.
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Sims was a 6-year veteran at the time of the incident. He is scheduled to be sentenced in court on Feb. 17.