Rushville Republican

News

February 8, 2013

Former RPD officer Worley charged

RUSHVILLE — The Rush County Prosecutor has filed Official Misconduct and Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor charges against former Rushville Police Department D.A.R.E. officer Cale H. Worley. The crime of Official Misconduct (Class D Felony) is punishable by up to three years in prison. Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor (Class A Misdemeanor) is punishable by up to three years in jail. Both charges stem from an alleged relationship between Worley and a 15-year-old juvenile. Due to her age, the identity of the teenager is not being released.

Worley is charged with meeting with and being out past curfew with the teenager on March 28, 2012. According to the charging documents, the former officer is accused of meeting with the underage female without the juvenile’s family’s permission, consent or knowledge between 1 and 2 a.m. behind the former Whitefelt building, located in the 800 block West Sixth Street. Shortly after the rendezvous, the officer allegedly drove the female to the rear of the Junior High School. The investigation also found that although on duty at the time of the meeting, the officer did not communicate with the RPD dispatch or otherwise document his activities while alone with the juvenile.

On Aug. 10, 2012, the Rushville Republican reported that Worley was suspended without pay for two days by the department following an investigation on an earlier complaint.

In the original complaint, Chief Tucker said it was determined in an in-depth internal investigation that Sgt. Worley had answered text messages from a juvenile that fell outside the scope of his professional duties.

“There is no evidence that the message conversations were of a sexual nature,” Tucker said at the time.

This statement was made prior to a second complaint being filed.

Worley resigned his position as a police officer with the City of Rushville and the Board of Public Works and Safety voted unanimously in a special meeting Friday, Aug. 17, 2012, to accept his resignation.

Worley’s resignation followed the department’s investigation of a second complaint against the officer.

Chief Tucker stated that a new complaint was filed with RPD Aug. 10, alleging misconduct by Worley.

“During the course of this investigation, information was developed that led this department to believe that violations of the Indiana Criminal Code may have occurred,” reads the statement provided by the chief.

Upon learning of the allegations, Rush County Prosecutor Phil Caviness immediately requested an independent investigation by the Indiana State Police. Mr. Caviness describes what followed as an “exhaustive investigation” conducted by the Indiana State Police, the Rush County Prosecutor’s Office and the Rushville Police Department. “When serious allegations are made against a law enforcement officer in a position of trust, we take the investigation very seriously,” Caviness stated. “We obtained search warrants for cell phones and computers of those involved, subpoenaed telephone records, and interviewed many witnesses as part of this investigation. Forensic examinations of the computers and phones were performed by the State Police lab and another private expert, and I feel that everything that could have been done to investigate this matter was done.”

Caviness added that all defendants are innocent until proven guilty, and that the charges filed in this case are what he believes he can prove in Court. He extended his gratitude to the RPD and Andy Wandersee of the Indiana State Police for their thoroughness, diligence and cooperation, and to the public for their patience in this case.

The Affidavit Of Probable Cause from Andy Wandersee of the Indiana State Police states as follows:

On the afternoon of August 13, 2012, the Rushville Police Department contacted  the Indiana State Police to begin an investigation of one of their police officers, Cale H. Worley, for alleged Official Misconduct. ISP Detective Shoemaker handled the initial investigation, but I took over shortly thereafter. The allegations involved Worley engaging in an inappropriate relationship with a 15-year-old Rushville juvenile. This began when the uncle of the juvenile mentioned the alleged relationship to his probation officer on or about Aug. 9,2012, who passed the information on to the Rushville Police Department.

The Rushville Police Department was conducting their own internal investigation of the matter, and on Aug. 14, 2012, I was informed that Worley had resigned from the Police Department.

The juvenile’s father was interviewed, and he stated that one night he had seen Worley’s patrol car parked behind the old Whitefelt building, and then went into his residence and found that his daughter was not there as she should have been. He waited on the porch for his daughter, and when she returned home she admitted that she had met Worley behind the Whitefelt building. The father stated he also knew that his daughter had been text messaging with Worley.

A juvenile friend of the teen was interviewed and stated that she knew the 15-year-old had met Worley at night behind Whitefelt, and had also met him behind the Junior High School late at night.

The juvenile involved, was interviewed on Aug. 15, 2012. She stated that she began text messaging with Officer Worley after she had gotten into trouble in an incident that occurred at the First Covered Bridge (that incident resulted in a 19-year-old man being prosecuted for Sexual Misconduct with a Minor). She stated that she would Facebook message and text message with Worley, and that Worley had given her his cell phone number. The teen stated that she did meet with Worley after curfew behind Whitefelt in early March, 2012, and also met him behind the Junior High School, also drove around in Worley’s patrol car with him. She stated she met him at these places so no one at her home would know of the meetings. She stated that she talked to Worley about her “sex life” along with other topics. She specifically recalled an incident on March 28, 2012, between 1 and 2 a.m., where Worley picked her up in his patrol vehicle and took her to the Junior High School. Worley was on duty and in full police uniform that night. The teen was on juvenile probation at the time, it was well after curfew, and her family did not know that she was out of the home. Being out past curfew and being away from home without permission are both juvenile delinquency offenses. The teen said that her relationship with Worley ended after this incident.

The Rushville Police Department has standard operating procedures, including radio Jogging to dispatch any contact with juveniles after curfew. RPD radio logs show that Worley never called in any of these meetings, nor made any reports.

The Rushville Police Department confirmed that Worley possessed a key to the loading dock door of the Junior High School. Since the events of March 28,2012 occurred months before the investigation began, video evidence from the Junior High surveillance system no longer existed. Worley’s patrol car was examined. Myself, the Rushville Police Department, and the Rush County Prosecutor’s office conducted many interviews of potential witnesses. Search warrants were obtained for Worley’s computers and cell phones, as well as the teen’s cell phones. All items were sent to the ISP lab for forensic analysis, and then the Rush County Prosecutor’s Office sent those items to another expert for further analysis. The Prosecutor also subpoenaed the cell phone records for the phones. The forensic analysis and cell phone records confirm that Worley and the teen were in contact during the relevant time period by cell phone and Facebook.

I believe there is probable cause to arrest Worley for Official Misconduct. Worley assisted the teen in committing delinquent acts, which constitutes Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor, a Class A Misdemeanor. Since he committed this offense while on duty as a public servant, he also committed Official Misconduct, a Class 0 Felony. I believe there is probable cause to charge Cale H. Worley, DOB 12/20/1984, with Official Misconduct, a Class D Felony, and Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor, a Class A Misdemeanor. Worley has not been arrested on these charges and I respectfully request the Court issue warrants for his arrest, states Wandersee’s affidavit.

The D.A.R.E. program was restarted with Rush County Schools by RPD in July 2010 with Worley as the officer in charge. D.A.R.E. stands for Drug Abuse Resistance Education and teaches school-age children and teens how to resist peer pressure, make good decisions, and avoid drugs, gangs and violence.

Rushville was one of the first departments in Indiana to become involved with the program in the 1980s.

Worley joined RPD in May 2008 after serving as a reserve officer since January 2007.

Melissa Conrad, 765-932-2222 ext. 107.



 

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