EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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February 3, 2013

Auxiliary Police Chief disciplined for sexual harassment

LAWRENCE — Auxiliary Police Chief Jay Jackson was disciplined last year for sexually harassing men he commanded following an internal affairs investigation into several complaints, including one alleging Jackson parked his cruiser under a bridge while on a midnight patrol with another officer and graphically described sexual torture by Afghan terrorists.

“He informed me of their torture methods and one of them happened to be to single out homosexual men and then take gorilla glue and then squeeze bottles and bottles of the glue up their rectum, causing their stomach to explode,” William DeBenedetto Jr. wrote in one complaint on May 1, 2011, after he had resigned from the force. “He then proceeded to question my opinion on the subject matter along with my views on homosexual men. I was immediately uncomfortable with the situation.”

Sgt. Emil DeFusco, commander of the Police Department’s Internal Affairs Division, interviewed 22 past and current members of the auxiliary force, including Jackson, after receiving the complaints last year.

The Eagle-Tribune obtained a copy of DeFusco’s investigation after requesting it under the state’s Public’s Records Law. City Attorney Charles Boddy redacted information about how Jackson was disciplined, which the law allows.

Several of the complaints contained whole paragraphs that were the same, suggesting they were written by the same person.

All but one of the complaining officers had been terminated from the force or resigned by the time they filed the complaints last year.

Their complaints were wide-ranging. Besides sexual harassment, they said Jackson failed to provide required training to officers, walked away from violent incidents he encountered on patrol and provided promotions, the best equipment and preferred shifts to officers he favors.

DeFusco acknowledged the sweep of allegations, but said all the complaints had one — sexual harassment — in common. His report addressed only that issue.

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