Phoenix Cop Justin LaClere Sentenced to Just Sixty Days in Jail For Sex With Underage Girl

Earlier this week, Officer Justin LaClere of the Phoenix Police Department was sentenced to serve just sixty days in jail after being convicted of having sex with a 17 year old girl that LaClere had been “courting.” Those charges included “luring a minor for sexual exploitation,” which is a class three felony, and “sexual conduct with a minor,” which is a class six felony. Typically, those charges result in sentences between two and seven years for non police officers.

Via the Phoenix New Times:

A seven-year veteran of the Phoenix Police Department, LaClere was arrested by Scottsdale Police in January 2014 after authorities learned that he’d had sex with the 17-year-old high school student he’d been courting. The two met through on the social media site Whisper, which allows users to upload pictures anonymously and privately message one another about them.

According to court documents obtained by New Times, the girl, whose name has not been released because she was a minor at the time of the arrest, “uploaded a picture of a baby with the text ‘I want to get pregnant but I’m only a teen’ written across it.”

After coming across the photograph, LaClere, who went by the handle “Jason69er,” sent her a private message and the two corresponded for the next two days.

LaClere was not at all dissuaded by the girl’s age, and instead probed for details about her desire to get pregnant:

“Want a baby in ya?” he messaged her.

“Ya,” she responded.

“You’d be a beautiful pregnant mommy, heck maybe I’d help ya,” he said, adding that they should get together soon and “start making a baby” since he’s “wanted a young pregnant girlfriend.”

At some point during their online conversation, he asked: “Is me being older okay?”

“Yah,” she said, “but I know my parents wouldn’t like it though [and] I’d be worried my dad would call the cops and have you arrested for sleeping with a minor since I’m not of legal age to sleep with you.”

Still, he sent her photographs of himself, including one in which he was wearing a dark blue uniform with Phoenix PD patches on the shoulders,” court documents show, and suggested that she sneak away from her parents after school and meet up with him:

“He told her that he thought she should go home after school and if no one was there he would come in really quickly and they could have sex,” it says in the documents. “She agreed to the plan.”

The girl sent LaClere her Scottsdale address and told him that her dad was out running errands.

According to a statement the girl later gave to the Scottsdale police, she and LaClere went up to her bedroom and had sex on the floor without a condom. Immediately after the act, he got dressed and left the house.

Sergeant Benjamin Hoster of the Scottsdale Police Department told New Times last summer that the department only learned about the incident because the girl told her friends about it at school the next day. The friends promptly told the school’s resource officer, who called the girl in for an interview.

She admitted that the story was true and showed the two photographs “Jason69er” had sent her, which allowed the police to identify him as Justin Francis LaClere.

LaClere was arrested at his home in Gilbert on January 16 and immediately resigned from the PPD.

Court documents show that he admitted to being “Jason69er” and to having sex with a girl he knew was a minor, and he was booked in jail on two felony charges — child abuse and sex with a minor.

LaClere initially pleaded “not guilty” to the charges, but he changed his plea in July 2015 after accepting a deal from the state. Six months later, he was finally sentenced by Judge Margaret Mahoney.

Vincent Funari, spokesman for the Maricopa County Superior Court, writes in an e-mail that as “per the plea,” LaClere will serve 60 days in jail, after which he will be subject “to lifetime supervised probation with sex offender terms.”

It remains unclear at this time whether LaClere will be registered as a Level I II, or III sex offender.

AZ Sentencing Guidlines Screenshot
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Based on the Policeman’s Discount LaClere has already received from his buddies in the Phoenix court system with regard to sentencing, I have a pretty good inclination that he will receive the lowest level of sex offender status. Not that it should really be a major spoiler at this point in the game or anything. I’m actually kinda surprised they didn’t figure out a way to make sure he could stay on the force after his slap on the wrist healed.

Meanwhile, on the very same day that Officer LaClere began his “courtship” of this 17 year old girl he was in the process of railroading an innocent woman on a bogus DUI charge. Fortunately for that woman, LaClere was an obvious liar while on the stand and the jury didn’t believe him. So, they found her not guilty in almost literally no time at all.

Via CBS5AZ.com: (emphasis added)

The case involved a woman named Michelle Thomas, who was cited for DUI in May of 2013.

Thomas is a married mother of two who was in the back seat of the vehicle when her husband was pulled over by LaClere for allegedly not driving within his lane.

LaClere left the vehicle running while performing tests on Thomas’ husband to determine if he was driving impaired.

Thomas repeatedly told LaClere she needed to use the restroom but could not open the back doors of her vehicle because the child safety locks were engaged.

She told a jury she crawled into the front seat of the car and attempted to get out of the driver’s side door, but because she engaged herself in the driver’s seat while doing so,  LaClere initiated DUI charges against her.

A number of Phoenix attorneys have come forward to CBS 5 News claiming that LaClere was not credible as a court witness.

Criminal defense lawyer Kristina Sitton represents Thomas’ husband.

“I really thought the judge was gonna come across the bench and throw him out of the courtroom,” said Sitton when describing LaClere’s attitude in court while testifying. “Just rude and condescending conversation.”

CBS 5 News exclusively obtained audio recordings from that DUI trial and they reveal LaClere’s interaction with defense attorney Gerald Gavin.

[NOTE NATURE OF LANGUAGE]

Gavin: “When you asked her if she was driving, she denied driving the vehicle, correct?”

LaClere: “She indicated she wanted to piss.”

Gavin: “When you talked to her in the front seat did she say she wanted to drive away?”

LaClere: “She indicated she wanted to piss.”

Gavin: “Did you ask her why she was in the front seat?”

LaClere: “For the reason I just gave.”

Gavin: “Did you ask her why she was in the front seat?”

LaClere: “She indicated she had to piss. I asked her what she was doing.”

Attorney Kristina Sitton was in the courtroom gathering information for her upcoming trial involving Thomas’ husband. CBS 5 News has learned Phoenix city prosecutors have dismissed the case against him.

“I can tell you I have never seen an officer be so disrespectful. It was very clear,” said Sitton.

The audio recording also includes Thomas’ testimony on the stand.

“I thought I fully explained myself,” she told the jury. “I told him I just needed to go across the street to use the restroom and I attempted to walk off. That’s when he grabbed my left arm and he slammed me up against the back door on the driver’s side.”

LaClere testified he saw the vehicle roll 10 feet with Thomas engaged in the driver’s seat and claims to have seen her put the car from drive into park.

Thomas denied those claims and the jury believed her. In fact, they returned three not guilty verdicts against her in under 10 minutes. Attorney Gerald Gavin said it was the second fastest jury he has had in his legal career.

This also was not the first time LaClere had been an issue for city prosecutors.

One prosecutor brought a formal complaint against him in 2012, saying LaClere was the most difficult officer she had ever worked with.

She also indicated she settled a case rather than going to trial because she didn’t believe LaCere would be a “positive representation of the police department” and that a jury “would have hated him,” according to the complaint in LaClere’s disciplinary file obtained by CBS 5 News.

The fact that juries generally believe cops regardless of how outrageous their claims are or how much evidence there is against them says something about just how much of a see through and obvious piece of garbage LaClere really is. It’s a good thing all those Good Cops and upstanding members of the “Justice System” took it easy on him.

In fact, in the video below yet another one of LaClere’s victims discusses her own encounter with him, the bogus DUI charges he arrested her on, and the relief she felt upon hearing that he had resigned and is no longer able to pose a threat to the citizens of Phoenix by working as a police officer. Obviously, there were no red flags in this guy’s history that would have tipped off one of the Heroes he worked with every day that he might a Bad Apple.

Kelly is a lifelong resident of Las Vegas, who’s been very active in local grassroots activism, as well as on a national level during his extensive travels. He’s also the founder/main contributor of Nevada Cop Block, served as editor/contributor at CopBlock.org and designed the Official Cop Block Press Passes.
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