UPD officer charged for alleged stalking, sexual harassment

Posted at 6:15 PM, Feb 05, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-06 00:06:09-05

SALT LAKE CITY - A Unified Police officer faces changes after investigators say he stalked and harassed an ex-girlfriend.

According to charging documents, Neil Poff, an 18-year veteran officer with UPD, harassed the victim for roughly four months last summer. Investigators say most of his illegal activity was done on his UPD work computer.

Unified Police say Poff was charged by an outside agency and he is currently off-duty.

"When this investigation first took place several months back, Officer Neil Poff was placed on paid administrative leave throughout the investigation. The case was then subsequently investigated by the Utah Attorney General's Office," said Unified Police Lt. Justin Hoyal.

The Attorney General filed four criminal charges against Poff, including felony stalking and computer crimes.

According to charges, Poff and the victim became romantically involved in 2011. Later that year, when the relationship died down, she says the harassment began.

She says Poff hacked her cell phone, text service, email and Facebook account.

After she alerted his superiors at UPD, the alleged victim says Poff sent threatening emails and texts, including one that said, "I know what you did. I also have some pictures. I will contact every single free share service for online porn that I can and will upload your pictures."

Investigators say they traced those messages back to Poff and say he sent most of the threatening messages from his work account at the UPD office in Magna or from his Herriman apartment.

"This is obviously something where our investigators saw the potential for criminal charges and got the A.G. involved in this case to investigate," Hoyal said.

Investigators say that Poff engaged in domestic violence that was extensive and serious. They also say they believe he went so far as to remove lug nuts from the victim's truck, which created a risk of injury or death.

Poff posted bail pending a court hearing next week.