Santa Ana Police Detective Gregory Daniel Beaumarchais did not hide the fact he was a police officer in his 40s when he repeatedly sexted a person he thought was a 14-year-old girl about eight months ago.
But the recipient of his sexually explicit texts was a decoy posing as a child who turned the texts over to O.C. Crime Stoppers in Orange County which then led to an investigation by United States Homeland Security.
Last week, the award-winning officer was charged with one misdemeanor count of annoying or molesting a victim believed to be under the age of 18, according to a press release from the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
If convicted, he could face up to a year in jail.
Last year, the Santa Ana Police Department tweeted that Beaumarchais has been recognized as the 2019 Detective of the Year. In 2020, he made more than $107,000, according to Transparent California.
Beaumarchais would text the decoy while on-duty through an unnamed social media platform from December 2021 through January 2022. At one point, the social media platform deleted his account, prompting him to launch another account with a similar name to continue texting the decoy.
He told the decoy he was a 45-year-old police officer, which was a detail the decoy passed to Crime Stoppers.
Earlier this month, police department tweeted a press release stating it had been notified about the allegations against Beaumarcais on December 17, 2021, placing him on paid administrative leave while launching an internal affairs investigation at that time.
If convicted, Beaumarcais, a married father of one, would be required to register as a sex offender.