Since 2006 I have commented on numerous actions taken by our Law Enforcement and District Attorney’s offices that bother me, and this case is one of the worst. Back in August of 2009 then SBPD officer Sawicki was arrested for exposing himself in front of two teenage girls. During his latest court appearance the trial was again postponed until May 2012.This means it will have taken the District Attorney’s office 33 months to put Mr. Sawicki on trial for misdemeanor charges that come with a maximum sentence of 12 months. All these delays have brought me to question why the California Attorney General’s office did not take charge of the prosecution, since this option was originally discussed from the onset.
The Santa Maria Times reported that in preparation for his upcoming trial defense attorney Michael Scott addressed the issue of just who was viewing hours of teenage pornography on Mr. Sawicki’s home desk top. Hold on now before the trial starts we still have to deal with the sheriff (a sergeant) charged with overseeing the Sawicki investigation. As it turns out he too has also been accused of viewing child pornography on his own computer. Rather than spend time writing more about these extremely ugly circumstances I included the entire Santa Maria Times story at the end of my posting. if you care to read it.
If you remember it was last October that SB police chief Sanchez was told to start updating our City Council on a regular basis. It is no secret that the public outrage at the time had caused this move by the Mayor. What choice did she have with all the media coverage concerning the then recent D.U.I. trial of Peter Lance and arrest of Tony Denunzio. Let us not forget the arrest of Karen Flores, the former Santa Barbara Police Department business manager suspected of embezzling more than $200,000 from his department.
To my knowledge Chief Sanchez has never included former officer Brian Sawicki case in his updates. Now I wanted to create this posting before because I felt that the Sawicki case was relevant to the public but I held off. In part because a few months back it was strongly suggested to me that I stop commenting on all the issues that the Santa. Barbara Police department was facing. To be honest I had no problem backing off because I really felt bad for all the Good Guys’ who wear a badge the right way. Yet here I am spending another weekend researching all the things on my mind that I have been putting off.
As luck would have it I was stopped yesterday by a blog follower and he wanted to talk about aSanta Barbaranews press story about officer Sawicki’s case earlier in the month.. I told him I had not but I would be willing to bet the recent front page story caught some people off guard, especially since the trial appears to have been hidden inSanta Maria.
So after I returned home yesterday I searched Google to see what recent stories concerning the Sawicki case were available and my results were some what limited.
Finally my efforts produced the Santa Maria Times story that I have already referenced all though I thought it was odd that I found it @ http://www.msnbc.msn.com. I must admit I was pleased to see the April 14th story was actually available at msnbc. As I often do I included where my reference material originated so that my readers may verify my statements and facts and today is no different..
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/47048702/ns/local_news-santa_maria_ca/t/defense-says-porn-was-not-former-officers/ or you may go to Santa Maria Times @ http://santamariatimes.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/defense-says-porn-was-not-former-officer-s/article_8ceb886e-85f5-11e1-b0d0-0019bb2963f4.html
Defense says child porn was not former Santa Barbara police officer Brian Sawicki’s.
Someone other than Brian Sawicki was using his computer to view teen pornography, his attorney contends, because dispatch records show Sawicki, then aSanta Barbarapolice officer, was out responding to service calls at the time. The records, which defense attorney Michael Scott, said recently surfaced, prompted Scott to file a motion asking Superior Court Judge Kay Kuns to reconsider a ruling denying the defense’s motion to exclude the pornography sites accessed on Sawicki’s computer from evidence.
Sawicki, 36, has been charged with five misdemeanors after he allegedly committed lewd acts in front of two teenage girls on Aug. 10, 2009 atRefugioStateBeachwhile he was off duty from the Santa Barbara Police Department.
On Friday, Kuns asked Scott during a hearing inSanta Mariato find out whether Sawicki was ever off duty and possibly home on occasions the teen pornography websites were visited on his desktop computer. Kuns then put off ruling on the defense’s motion until a later date.
The prosecution opposes the defense motion, and Deputy District Attorney Brooke Gerard argued in court Friday that Sawicki could have stopped at home during his work shift to visit the websites. “It wouldn’t be unheard of for the defendant, who lives inSanta Barbara, to go by his house,” she added
Scott countered that the person accessing the sites during Sawicki’s shifts spent hours browsing them under Sawicki’s screen name, and couldn’t have been Sawicki. Also addressed on Friday was another motion filed by Scott, this one sealed for privacy, asking Kuns to let the jury in Sawicki’s upcoming trial know that the sheriff’s sergeant charged with overseeing the Sawicki investigation has also been accused of viewing child pornography on his own computer. Kuns denied the defense motion on the grounds that the sergeant was not accused of tampering with the Sawicki investigation. “If he was a primary witness, this might be another story entirely,” the judge added.
That sergeant was not criminally charged, and his name has not been made public. According to Scott’s statements in court Friday, the person has since left the Sheriff’s Department “under a cloud” of accusations. “This individual was very integral in this investigation,” the attorney added. Gerard argued before Kuns’ ruling that the sergeant in question had no time to interfere with the initial investigation at the scene of Sawicki’s alleged crimes on Aug. 10, 2009 before others arrived.
“As a sex crimes prosecutor, it makes me desperately sad to say there are hundreds of thousands of people out there looking at this kind of material,” Gerard said. Sawicki, who is free on bail, is charged with annoying or molesting a child, lewd conduct in a public place, unlawful electronic peeping, destroying evidence and resisting, and obstructing or delaying a peace officer. He no longer works for the Santa Barbara Police Department.
ThecountySheriff’s Department has reported that two teen girls were walking along a trail near the beach around 3:20 p.m. on Aug. 10, 2009 when they noticed a man walking behind them The girls walked back toward the campground, and saw the man lying down and masturbating, according to sheriff’s officials. They ran to the campground and alerted a state park ranger. While being interviewed, they saw the man and pointed him out to the ranger. Seeing the ranger approaching, Sawicki allegedly took off running. After a foot chase, he was caught and arrested.
Sawicki is due back in court on May 3, at which time motions in the case will be addressed. He is slated to start trial on May 30.