SANTA ANA (CBSLA) – A Huntington Beach police officer has been charged with two misdemeanors for impersonating a fellow officer online in what prosecutors described as an apparent romantic dispute.
Steven Tennant, 32, of Yorba Linda, is accused of posting a fellow officer’s photo and personal phone number on the dating website Doublelist.com on two separate occasions in Sept. 2020, according to Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer.
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Prosecutors say the ads were posted after the other officer had begun dating Tennant’s ex-girlfriend.
The other officer became aware of the ads when he started receiving texts from unknown numbers referencing the internet postings featuring his picture and personal cell phone number, police said.
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An investigation was launched after the officer reported the harassment to a supervisor.
Tennant is charged with two misdemeanor counts of internet impersonation for the purpose of harming, intimidating, threatening, and defrauding.
“Impersonating another individual on the internet is not a joke. It is a crime that could result in serious harm,” said Spitzer. “This is not ‘boys will be boys’ or ‘cops will be cops’ behavior. It is curious and beyond disturbing that a sworn police officer would engage in such reckless behavior to endanger the safety of a fellow officer.”
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If convicted, Tennant faces a maximum sentence of two years in Orange County jail.