Charges Against Rutland Officer Not Related To Pornography

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(Host) For months Rutland has been following the investigation of a Rutland police officer in what was thought to be a case of child pornography. Sergeant David Schauwecker was in Rutland District Court yesterday afternoon after being charged with two crimes.

But as VPR’s Nina Keck reports – neither is directly related pornography.

(Keck) David Schauwecker remained silent during an arraignment that lasted less than two minutes. His attorney Matthew Hartnett spoke on his behalf.

(Hartnett)  "We enter not guilty times two your honor." 

(Keck) Schauwecker is charged with two crimes – the first alleges he neglected his duty as a Rutland City police officer.  According to police documents, Schauwecker – without permission –  took two racks of adult pornography that had been seized in another investigation.  

The state alleges he viewed one or more of these DVDs on his police-issued laptop.  Authorities say after a lengthy forensic computer analysis, the images in question were not found to contain any child pornography.       

Besides being charged with neglecting his duty, Schauwecker is also charged with allegedly giving false information to another law enforcement officer to deflect an investigation from himself.    

At the courthouse, neither side would comment but Matthew Hartnett told Judge Thomas Zonay that given the length of the police affidavit – 18 pages – he would need time to go through it before making any challenges.

(Harnett) " I do want to state that this is a very very lengthy affidavit of probable cause.  There may very well be a challenge to probably cause in this case that comes in writing after today’s arraignment."

(Keck) Schauwecker is due in court again in May.  Both of the charges he faces are misdemeanors and each carries a maximum penalty of a year in prison and a $1,000 fine.    

For VPR news, I’m Nina Keck in Rutland.

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