BSO detective accused of not fully investigating sex crimes, threatening a victim with deportation
A veteran Broward Sheriff’s detective was arrested Tuesday on charges of official misconduct and extortion after an investigation found he had falsified information in numerous sex crime cases and closed the cases without fully investigating them, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Det. Demetrious Campbell, 48, has been with the Sheriff’s Office since 2002. He is now suspended without pay, and investigators are reviewing many of his cases, Veda Coleman-Wright, a spokesperson for the Sheriff’s Office, said in a news release Tuesday evening.
Concerns about Campbell surfaced in early April after a sexual battery victim called a Special Victims Unit sergeant to ask about her case, an arrest warrant said. The sergeant called Campbell about the case, who said the victim would not cooperate or get an examination for the case to be further investigated.
The sergeant checked Campbell’s report on the case, finding what Campbell wrote matched what he had told him, the warrant said. The victim told the sergeant she did want to cooperate and had consented to an examination. The sergeant then checked the victim’s sworn statement, “which completely contradicted” what Campbell wrote in his report.
The sergeant grew suspicious. Reviewing Campbell’s cases, he found the detective closed 25 cases in 2022 as unfounded and eight in 2023, the Sheriff’s Office said, meaning the case was exhaustively investigated and it was determined there was no crime.
Public Corruption Unit detectives began investigating and discovered that reports in several of Campbell’s cases contradicted the evidence, the Sheriff’s Office said. Between October 2021 and March 2023, 41 of the 99 sex crime and abuse cases assigned to Campbell were closed as unfounded.
It also seemed Campbell “did not review or investigate evidence” that was uploaded into the system in his cases, the warrant said.
Detectives met with victims in several of Campbell’s cases, finding a similar story. Campbell wrote in several reports that the victims told him they fabricated their allegations. But the victims told Public Corruption Unit detectives that they never told Campbell what he had written in his reports, according to the warrant. In several cases, Campbell did not obtain sworn statements from victims or use his body-worn camera.
In one case where Campbell did not obtain sworn statements, the victim was sexually abused when she was 7 or 8 years old, according to the warrant. Campbell wrote in a report in that case that the victim made up the allegations so she would be able to live with a different parent. The victim told Public Corruption Unit detectives last month that Campbell told her “her background isn’t pretty,” which made the victim feel like it would be better to close the case and that she never told Campbell she lied.
The victim whose complaint sparked the investigation into Campbell’s cases told detectives last week that she called for an update on the case because she became pregnant after the sexual assault and had a miscarriage, the warrant said.
After Campbell took a sworn, recorded statement from her after the assault, the victim said Campbell told her “it doesn’t make any sense to go any further with this case because nothing is going to come from it and not to use this as a tool to get a U-visa,” which allows crime victims who were physically or mentally abused to aid law enforcement and the government in criminal prosecution.
“Det. Campbell also threatened to call immigration and have her deported back to Jamaica,” the warrant said.
Campbell is facing nine counts of official misconduct and one count of extortion, stemming from threatening the victim with deportation, according to the warrant.
“Sex offenses are such heinous crimes to recover from because of the emotional and sometimes physical scars endured by victims that last for many years,” Sheriff Gregory Tony said in a statement. “I expect all BSO employees to serve with virtuous character and integrity. Failure to fully investigate such serious crimes is reprehensible and downright disgraceful. The public can rest assured all unfounded SVU cases investigated by Campbell will be reopened and thoroughly reviewed. Victims of any crime have a right to have their cases fully investigated and their violators arrested.”
The Sheriff’s Office is continuing to investigate Campbell’s 41 cases that were closed as unfounded.
Angie DiMichele can be reached at moc.lenitnesnus@elehcimida, 754-971-0194 and on Twitter @angdimi.