Local News

2 Durham Officers Resign Amid Sex Probe

Posted January 18, 2008 6:14 p.m. EST

— Two police officers have resigned in the wake of a Durham Police Department investigation into sexual misconduct allegations involving a prostitute, officials said Friday.

Sgt. Keith Cheeks and Officer Demond Gooch had been involved in misconduct unrelated to the sex allegations, Chief Jose Lopez said. He didn't disclose the nature of the misconduct but said the pair would have been fired if they hadn't resigned.

Cheeks had been with the department since 1992, while Gooch joined in 2004. Both men were assigned to the Uniform Patrol Division.

A prostitute told Durham vice officers in early October that she had engaged in sex with police officers. The Special Operations Division launched an undercover criminal investigation into the allegations, but Lopez said they have yet to substantiate the woman’s claims.

An internal affairs investigation into the allegations was opened in November, and about 10 officers were placed on leave pending the outcome. That investigation has been closed, and the cleared officers have returned to duty.

The misconduct by Cheeks and Gooch was uncovered during the course of the investigation, Lopez said.

“I have full confidence in the integrity of our investigative processes. When those processes uncover conduct unbecoming a Durham police officer, it is important that the conduct and the officers be admonished," he said in a statement.

Police are awaiting the results of DNA tests before concluding the criminal investigation. Lopez said he doesn't think the criminal investigation will implicate any other officers.