Former Stillwater officer Scott Geving acquitted on sexual misconduct charges
October 30, 2009
By PETER COX, ACN Papers
A jury found Scott Gerald Geving, 50, the former Stillwater police officer accused of inappropriate sexual behavior while on duty, not guilty on all counts related to the allegations. "Justice was done," said Earl Gray, Geving's attorney. "Clearly, he was not guilty of attempting to have criminal sexual conduct with that young woman. No other verdict could have been rendered with this evidence." Geving's trial was heard over the course of three days this week in Washington County District Court. It is the first of two trials related to allegations of impropriety by Geving while on duty as a Stillwater police officer. Geving, who was with the Stillwater Police Department for 11 years, resigned earlier this year. This week's trial stemmed from allegations from Aug. 20, 2008, when Geving, on duty, stopped in at the Super 8 Motel for a walk through. A 46-year-old woman was on duty as a clerk. She accompanied him on the walk through. Gray says that Geving had met the alleged victim almost a decade ago, on the first of around 10 police calls that he'd been called to at her home. Her son was difficult to control, Gray said, and Geving seemed to have an ability to calm him down. On Aug. 20, when the two returned to the front desk, Geving put his hand on the woman's back. The two later kissed. The prosecution alleged that Geving had, while having the woman show him where the restroom was, grabbed her hand and pulled it down to his groin. Gray said that did not happen. There were two pieces of evidence that were mentioned by the prosecution, but both had been erased before trial. First, a video of Geving in the hotel that night. The video had been erased when police asked the hotel manager to make a copy, something he'd never done before. There was also a text message that the woman had allegedly sent to her son, asking him to come to the hotel lobby because she felt odd about her interactions with Geving that night. The text message had also been erased. Phillip Prokopowicz, of the Dakota County Attorney's office, tried the case on behalf of Washington County to avoid a conflict of interest. A 10th District judge who usually does not oversee cases in Washington County heard the trial. Prokopowicz, who heads the Dakota County Attorney's office, filled in for another attorney who was supposed to take the case, but had a conflicting murder trial this week. "Obviously, we are disappointed in the verdict," Prokopowicz said. "However, the jury has made its decision." Geving was found not guilty on one count of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct, one count of fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct, and two counts of misconduct by a public officer. Geving's next trial will start Jan. 25. In that case, he allegedly offered a woman to be let off for a DWI arrest in exchange for sex. He is also accused of stalking the woman while on duty in 2006. He has been charged with two counts of fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct and two counts of harassment relating to that incident. Thursday afternoon, the former police officer said he was happy with the jury's decision. "I'm very relieved," said Geving. "Thankful for Mr. Gray's assistance. Thanks to all my family and friends who have supported me through this."