CMPD: Officer charged after inappropriately touching woman at club

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said it has charged one of its own with sexual battery.

Police said Officer Michael Santiago was served a criminal summons after being accused of inappropriately touching a woman at a club in uptown Charlotte.

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Officials said the incident happened around 1:30 a.m. Saturday at the Roxbury on West 5th Street.

Police said the woman reported a man touched her inappropriately, and officers working off-duty outside the club recognized the man as Santiago.

“We believe this is one incident, but certainly, we’ll be looking into whether there’s additional victims or additional charges,” CMPD Deputy Chief Katrina Graue said.

CMPD said detectives conducted interviews and gathered evidence before presenting the case to a magistrate.

Police said Santiago, who is assigned to the Central Division as a patrol officer, is on unpaid administrative leave. He has been employed by CMPD since June 27, 2016.

The department is also conducting an internal investigation to determine whether Santiago violated any policies or procedures.

Chief Kerr Putney released a statement saying, “I am disappointed by this incident. As officers, we uphold the law and absolutely will not tolerate one of our own violating it. Officers who disregard the law will be held accountable for their actions.”

After the internal investigation, Santiago will face a board of his peers and supervisors almost like a court hearing. The consequences range from forced time off to losing his job.

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