San Mateo police officer resigns amid sexual assault accusations

A San Mateo police officer resigned amid a criminal investigation opened last October into allegations he sexually assaulted women while on duty, his department and prosecutors revealed Thursday.

San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe identified the officer as Noah Winchester. He said his office has been investigating Winchester for assaults on women while on duty since last fall at the request of San Mateo and Burlingame police.

In a letter to the community released Thursday, San Mateo police Chief Susan Manheimer said she placed Winchester on indefinite leave as soon as she learned of the allegations. While the investigation was ongoing, he resigned from the department, she said.

“The thought of someone committing criminal acts while wearing an SMPD uniform is deeply troubling and repulsive to this department and its members,” Manheimer said. “If these allegations are proven true, these acts will tarnish the community partnerships that our officers have worked so hard and long to build and preserve.”

Wagstaffe said there are good reasons the investigation has gone on as long as it has but said he cannot disclose them at this time. He said he hopes to have the investigation completed within a month or two.Bay Area NewsSan Mateo Police Department

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