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Messages Sent to Rival Lead to Charges Against Officer

Saint Paul Pioneer Press via YellowBrix

January 14, 2010

A St. Paul police officer has been charged with harassment and unauthorized computer access after she allegedly sent taunting, sexually explicit messages to a romantic rival.

Jessica Elizabeth Phillips, 28, left voice mail and sent text messages and e-mails to a victim identified as K.T. between May 2008 and September 2009, according to a criminal complaint filed late Tuesday in Ramsey County District Court.

The complaint, charging Phillips with two counts of gross misdemeanor harassment and one count of unauthorized computer use, provides the following details:

Minnesota Policing

In the messages, Phillips describes her sexual relationship with a man identified as “Lou,” and, using her police access, she retrieved data about someone with the initials L.D.F. in the state’s Driver and Vehicle Services computer system.

L.D.F. is a fellow police officer. Public records of police personnel show the only “Lou” as Louis D. Ferraro.

“We’ve made love a million times,” said one of the less-explicit voice messages Phillips left on the victim’s phone Sept. 21. Later that day, she sent the victim an e-mail that said, among other things, “go get a (expletive) job you stupid (expletive) and you wouldn’t need to depend on a man to support you.”

Records from the Driver and Vehicle Services division show that Phillips looked up the victim’s name 38 times between August 2008 and September 2009. She looked up the name of the victim’s ex-husband six times between August 2008 and July 2009. And she looked up Ferraro’s record 52 times between May 2008 and August 2009.

Phillips joined the department Oct. 31, 2005, according to Sgt. Paul Schnell, police spokesman. She had been assigned to a patrol unit and the crimes-against-property unit. A year ago Wednesday, Phillips won a police department medal of valor. In 2007, she and another officer killed a convicted murderer in a domestic incident.

“Obviously, if these charges prove true, the allegations are very serious and disappointing,” Schnell said.

Phillips is scheduled to appear in court March 2. She could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Schnell said an internal police investigation will follow completion of the court process. Police Chief John Harrington will then make a disciplinary decision.

John Brewer and Tad Vezner contributed to this report.

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