12/23/2005

Suspended SF officer jailed on more sexual misconduct charges

Henry K. Lee, Chronicle Staff Writer

Copyright 2005 The Chronicle Publishing Co.
All Rights Reserved
THE SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE (California)

A San Francisco police officer on suspension for alleged misconduct with minors was in jail Thursday on new charges of sexually assaulting a San Francisco State University student, authorities said.

Officer Michael Turkington, a five-year veteran assigned to the Taraval police station, held an intoxicated 18-year-old college student against her will in his unmarked patrol car late one night in November 2004, fondled her and forced her to orally copulate him, authorities said.

Turkington, 35, also let the woman hold his loaded service weapon and gave her a marijuana cigarette after the incident, which occurred in a secluded parking area on campus, San Francisco police Inspector Peter Walsh wrote in an affidavit.

Turkington, who is married and has two children, was being held at County Jail in lieu of $500,000 bail. He is scheduled to appear at the Hall of Justice today on felony charges of forced oral copulation, false imprisonment, assault under color of authority and furnishing marijuana.

Turkington's attorney, Mark Nicco, said, "He's been a good police officer, a good son, father, husband. This is a horrible situation for him. He wants his family, friends and colleagues to know that he's not guilty of these crimes."

According to the affidavit, the woman told authorities about the alleged attack in October -- almost a year after she said the incident took place --

while she was being arrested for public intoxication.

Nicco said he was concerned with the timing of the allegations. "Any case that comes to light a year afterward automatically is suspicious in my mind and causes a lot of credibility issues," he said.

Turkington was in uniform when he met the woman in fall 2004 as she was walking to or from her dorm at San Francisco State, she told police. Over the next several weeks, the two spoke on the phone but never met in person, she said.

In one conversation, the woman told Turkington that she had been "caught smoking pot in her dorm room," Walsh said in his affidavit. The officer told her that "he could supply her with marijuana that he had confiscated from narcotics suspects," the affidavit said.

Late Nov. 13 or early Nov. 14, 2004, the woman called Turkington to give her a ride to a hospital where her boyfriend was being treated for intoxication, the affidavit said. On that night, she recalled being "really drunk," police said.

The woman said Turkington had picked her up in a burgundy, unmarked police car. The officer kissed her, touched her breasts through her bra and tried to put his hand down her pants as she repeatedly told him to stop, she told authorities.

"The victim believed that the only way she could get Turkington to stop was to orally copulate him," Walsh wrote.

Last month, the woman identified Turkington in a photo lineup, according to Walsh. "During the identification process, the victim was visibly shaking," he wrote.

Turkington is scheduled to go to trial today in a separate criminal case in alleged incidents months before the alleged sexual assault.

On June 30, 2004, Turkington allegedly took two 17-year-old girls and a 16-year-old girl to West Sunset Park and gave them a bottle of vodka and a bottle of Gatorade.

Four days later, Turkington and Officer Arkady Zlobinsky met the girls and asked if they wanted to shoot off illegal fireworks that police had confiscated that night, authorities said. The officers allegedly gave bottles of beer and fireworks to the three girls.

Turkington and Zlobinsky, who were on duty and in uniform at the time, were suspended and are facing departmental charges of neglect of duty and general misconduct. Both also face misdemeanor criminal charges of conspiracy and furnishing alcohol to minors. 
 
December 23, 2005

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