A Santa Ana police detective has been charged after allegedly sending graphic messages to a person who he thought was a 14-year-old girl, authorities announced Tuesday.
Gregory Daniel Beaumarchais, 43, faces one misdemeanor count of annoying or molesting a victim believed to be under the age of 18, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
Beaumarchais turned himself into authorities on Tuesday. He has been a member of the police force since 2011.
A decoy posing as the teen contacted OC Crime Stoppers to inform them of Beaumarchais’ messages. He allegedly sent the messages between December 2021 and January 2022, officials said.
Beaumarchais allegedly created another social media account after his initial one was cut off by the provider.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security assisted in the investigation.
“Today’s filing of criminal charges for showing sexual interest in children shows no one is above the law when it comes to keeping communities free from predators,” said Shawn Gibson, acting special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Los Angeles.
“Police officers are entrusted with the sacred responsibility to safeguard society from harm,” District Attorney Todd Spitzer said. “It is beyond disturbing that a sworn police officer would engage in inappropriate conversations with someone he believed to be a child. Our children should not have to worry about being preyed upon by the very people we teach them who are there to protect them. The vast majority of police officers are the trusted authority figures we expect them to be and when an officer engages in criminal behavior it tarnishes the badge of all of our hardworking law enforcement officers.”