On the eve of trial, a former Livermore police officer accused in an expansive sexual misconduct scandal reached a plea bargain Thursday that may erase all the allegations against him.
Daniel Black agreed to plead no contest to one misdemeanor count of lewd conduct in public. Prosecutors said that while off duty as a police officer in April, Black and a teenager engaged in sexual acts in his motor home on two occasions and that he paid for her dinners and gave her alcohol in exchange.
Five other misdemeanor charges against Black — including lewd conduct, engaging in prostitution and giving alcohol to a minor — were dismissed with the deal.
The 19-year-old woman, whose mother is an Oakland police dispatcher, has said officers and sheriff’s deputies from around the Bay Area had sex with her in the past two years. She told The Chronicle that some of the officers paid her, while others tipped her off about prostitution stings or ran the names of people she knew through law enforcement databases.
If Black obeys the law and terms of the plea bargain, the single charge against him will be dismissed in May 2018. The conditions include taking an HIV test, watching an AIDS educational film, staying away from the young woman and steering clear of any areas where prostitution is known to occur.
Black’s attorneys said he was charged only because he was a police officer being held to a different standard than the general public.
“They didn’t go after any of her clients who were non-police officers,” said Michael Cardoza, one of the defense attorneys. “Dinner for sex? That’s stretching.”
The prosecutor, Deputy District Attorney Sabrina Farrell, said she had a strong case and was ready to proceed to trial, but plans changed after a key witness — the young woman — had a medical emergency that prevented her from testifying this week.
Jury selection was nearly complete when Black agreed to the bargain. He now works as a security guard after resigning from the Livermore Police Department.