Denver police officer suspended 10 days, accused of grooming 17-year-old

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DENVER (KDVR) — A Denver police officer will serve a 10-day suspension for an “inappropriate” relationship with a 17-year old girl. 

Daniel Osman, a 17-year veteran of the Denver Police Department, denied having any intent to establish a romantic relationship with the teenage girl but a disciplinary letter obtained by the Problem Solvers casts doubt on his version of events.

According to the letter released by Denver’s Department of Public Safety, “Officer Osman conceded that the optics of a male cop in his 50’s interacting with a 17-year-old female ‘looks’ bad. Similarly, Osman relayed that a number of officers in his district began calling him ‘rapist’ and ‘pedophile.'”

The internal affairs investigation focused on a July 1 lunch at a Chipotle. Osman had previously met the unidentified teen while responding to a theft report at a Famous Footwear store where the teen worked as a sales associate.

According to the disciplinary letter, the manager of the Famous Footwear was disturbed by Osman’s behavior and complained to another officer who ended up reporting Osman through the chain of command. The store manager told police her employee “felt awkward when Osman accessed her Facebook page” and after looking at her Facebook picture told the 17-year-old, “This is a perfect girl for me.”

The teenager told investigators that Osman talked about how he was going through a divorce while at lunch with her and added “I prefer Latinas with brown eyes, brown hair” which the girl said could have been directed to her.

The store manager told investigators she recalled her employee saying that Osman told the girl they could “just get to know each other” and could “develop something later.”

The girl also told investigators “that Osman had shown her a picture of his daughter, indicating she was 19, 20, or 21, to which the 17-year old inquired ‘Oh, so she’s older than me?’ In response, Officer Osman allegedly responded, ‘Not that older.'”

Osman would later tell internal affairs investigators that he thought the 17-year old was actually 20 but the girl told internal affairs she was clearly joking and Osman knew she was 17. Osman admitted on one occasion he told the store manager he though the girl was 20 and was corrected by the store manager who told him she was 17, adding, “I should know, I hired her.”

That interaction happened before the July 1 lunch at Chipotle.

Osman denied ever having tried to meet up with the 17-year-old again after their lunch, though he admitted he did offer to take her to dinner before the lunch. According to Osman’s phone records, text messages between the two appeared to have stopped on July 3. 

But the discipline letter notes that even after Osman knew the girl “was only 17 years old he continued to engage in text messages, continued to bring coffee or energy drinks to the store, and ultimately he took her to lunch. The over-sharing of his personal life with a young woman the age of  one of his own daughters is at best inappropriate and at worst, evidence of an attempt to pursue more than a work-based friendship.”

Osman was found to have engaged in “Conduct Prejudicial” to the police department and was ordered to serve his 10-day suspension in two 5-day blocks. The first block will be served from April 18 to April 22 . The second block will be served from May 2 through May 6.

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