Crime & Courts

Former Wichita police detective granted diversion after sexual harassment allegation

A former Wichita police detective who retired while under investigation for alleged sexual harassment has been granted a diversion from criminal prosecution.

Detective Rick Craig was accused of sexually harassing a female coworker while on duty with unwanted touching and sexual innuendo. Included in the alleged harassment was caressing the civilian employee’s hand, attempting to look down her blouse and pretending to take an up-skirt photo as coworkers laughed, according to court documents.

But what ultimately led to a criminal charge was going into the woman’s office and, without permission, putting his hand over her mouth, pushing her back into her desk chair and kissing the back of his hand — an act Craig admitted as part of his deal with prosecutors.

Craig was charged in Sedgwick County District Court with one misdemeanor count of battery. Prosecutors alleged Craig “unlawfully and knowingly cause(d) physical contact with another person ... done in a rude, insulting or angry manner.”

Craig admitted that he is guilty of the charge in the pretrial diversion agreement signed Tuesday.

The conditions for his 12 months of deferred prosecution include not breaking any laws, completing a batterer’s intervention program, doing 100 hours of community service and paying $160 in diversion costs, $160 in court costs and a $33 jail processing fee. Violating these or other terms of the agreement could result in the case going to trial.

He previously resigned from the Wichita Police Department.

Police documents provided to the Citizen Review Board in May state that an employee in the training bureau had resigned and retired while under an internal investigation after being accused of sexually harassing another employee.

A police spokesman said the Professional Standards Bureau case involved Craig. The detective’s employment ended April 12, or nine days after he was criminally charged. He was on unpaid leave during that time.

The Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office conducted the criminal investigation. A sheriff’s detective detailed the allegations against Craig in two affidavits filed in district court.

A woman who was a civilian employee in the police training bureau reported in March that she had been the victim of “an increasing amount of sexual harassment” by Craig, a 53-year-old man. The detective was assigned to the bureau’s pre-employment section.

Craig allegedly caressed the woman’s hand when walking by, asked to go home with her when she took a lunch break, attempted to look down the neckline of her blouse and told “a story of a former police officer or detective with large breasts,” according to the woman’s report.

He also was accused of “making inappropriate comments” toward the coworker and telling her “not to say anything because he could get in trouble or fired.”

In another incident, the woman said Craig told her that when she picked up a binder from the floor, he “took out his phone and put it under her skirt and acted like he was going to take a picture. He told her that’s why everyone in the office was laughing when she left.”

The investigator wrote in the affidavit that the woman said she felt humiliated, ashamed and embarrassed, but had been hesitant to report what happened. She said that she filed the report after a friend encouraged her to and after the unit received a new captain, who she believed “would do something to help her instead of cover for Craig.”

Craig declined an interview with criminal investigators, according to the affidavit.

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