Chandler cop held without bail - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Chandler cop held without bail

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Posted: Saturday, July 12, 2003 2:00 am | Updated: 12:59 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

A 33-year-old Chandler police officer arrested Thursday twice admitted he molested a 14-year-old girl — during a phone call with the girl and during a police interrogation, a deputy Maricopa County attorney said Friday.

Michael Donovan Picard of Peoria was booked Thursday into the county's Madison Street Jail in Phoenix after Phoenix police arrested him on suspicion of driving the girl to his home May 26 and touching her inappropriately.

On Friday, deputy county attorney Blaine Gadow convinced Court Commissioner Bernard Owens to hold Picard without bail, noting Picard's admissions.

Court documents indicate police overheard Picard discuss his actions during a phone call with the girl and detail what sexual acts he might like to perform with her.

Picard's attorney, Jay Rock. had asked for Picard to be released on his own recognizance, citing his client's six years with the Navy and six years in law enforcement.

"Mr. Picard denies any of these sorts of confessions and he's pleading not guilty," Rock said.

Following the hearing, Rock urged the public to keep an open mind.

"We really need to remember our Constitution and give Mr. Picard the benefit of the doubt. I think he's earned it," Rock said. "At this time these are allegations and that's all they are."

Picard is in good spirits and "his family supports him 100 percent," Rock said.

Phoenix police detective Tony Morales said the victim's father became suspicious of his daughter's relationship with Picard after he found her communicating with Picard on the Internet.

Owens scheduled Picard's preliminary hearing for July 21.

Picard, who was assigned to Chandler's Drug Abuse Resistance Education program until June, remains on paid administrative leave, said Chandler detective Robert Krautheim.

An internal investigation of Picard will be launched once the Phoenix Police Department's criminal investigation is completed, Krautheim said.

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