Fayetteville police officer David Nguyen was fired from the department last month in a former officer’s sexual assault case but dropped his appeal of the firing this week, officials said.
Nguyen, pictured at right, was scheduled to appear at a city Civil Service Commission trial on Tuesday (Feb. 11) at 8:30 a.m. to appeal his Jan. 3 firing.
However, the trial was canceled after his lawyer, Andrew Miller, submitted a letter to the city of Fayetteville on Monday (Feb. 10), asking for the appeal to be dismissed. That means Nguyen’s employment with the police department will not be reinstated, officials said.
According to an amended termination letter signed Feb. 10 by Police Chief Greg Tabor, Nguyen was fired for failing to inform supervisors that a police dispatcher told him she was sexually assaulted by then-Officer Jamison Stiles.
Nguyen is the second Fayetteville police officer fired in recent months.
Stiles was arrested and fired in December 2013 after a woman said he sexually assaulted her after handcuffing her and taking her home from a bar while on duty. The Fayetteville Police Department initiated an internal investigation into Stiles following the rape allegation, after which a former police dispatcher accused him of sexually assaulting her at her home.
An internal investigation report states Stiles responded in October 2013 to JR’s Lightbulb Club in Fayetteville, in response to a woman who was passed out drunk. After arriving at the scene, Stiles handcuffed the woman and placed her in his squad car.
The bar held a contest that night called the “Drunken Spelling Bee,” and the woman said she had been a contestant, according to the report.
After finding out where the woman lived, Stiles told her she was not going to jail and turned off his police recording device, which is against protocol, according to the report. When the recording device came back on, it showed the woman lying down on the car seat with her pants down around her knees, the internal investigation found.
Around the same time, Stiles received a message, possibly a text, from a person whose name is redacted from the document, asking, “No arrest?” Stiles responds, “Nah, just didn’t have the heart, especially when she could have stayed there,” according to records obtained by the internal investigator.
The officer then pulled the woman out of the vehicle and again turned off his recording device for 26 minutes, during which the woman initially said Stiles raped her. She later recanted that claim and said he was on top of her and touched her breast inside her apartment at the Cliffs II, where Stiles lived and also volunteered as a courtesy officer, the report states.
Management at the apartment complex told investigators Stiles had a master key to the apartments because of his position as a courtesy officer. However, they had never had any problems with him, they said.
The day after the alleged assault, the woman went back to the bar angry, saying an officer had raped her and that she “wanted to kill him,” according to the internal investigation.
In his version of events, Stiles told an internal investigator the woman came onto him, clutching him close and holding his hand to her breast while telling him she wanted them to “make a baby.” Stiles said he rebuffed her advances, telling her he was happily married, and left her apartment, according to the internal investigation.
The woman reported the situation to police Nov. 10, after which Stiles was interviewed several times by internal investigators and by detectives with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. Stiles denied doing anything wrong in the interviews and said he turned accidentally turned off his recording device out of habit, later saying he turned off the recording device so the woman in the back seat of his car could have some dignity, the investigatory report states.
In another later interview, Stiles said he had not told investigators everything, that the woman had kissed him while clutching him close in her apartment. He said he did not initially tell investigators the detail because he was scared, according to investigation documents.
The officer was later ordered to undergo a polygraph test to help determine if he was telling the truth about the events with the woman accusing him of sexual assault. He refused the direct order and was fired from the police department for eight violations, police said.
Stiles was arrested a few days later on suspicion of rape, second-degree sexual assault and residential burglary. He was booked into the Washington County Detention Center on Dec. 20 and was released the next day on bond.
Stiles’ next court date is scheduled for Feb. 12 in Washington County.
Stiles had been employed by the Fayetteville Police Department for almost three years before being fired, said Sgt. Craig Stout, spokesman for the police department.
After Stiles’ termination, a former Fayetteville Police Department dispatcher reported she had also been sexually assaulted in her home’s driveway by Stiles in July 2013. She said Stiles was on-duty and in uniform at the time of the alleged assault, according to investigators.
The woman who accused Stiles of fondling her breast in her apartment has been arrested several times by Fayetteville police over the last few years on suspicion of public intoxication and driving while intoxicated, records show.
During the subsequent investigation into the situation, Deputy Chief Mike Reynolds sent an email to an investigator stating, “Sounds like this female has some issues with alcohol. Nonetheless, the (recording device) being turned off and 27 minutes at the female’s residence are concerning.”