CBS47 is learning more about the investigation into an Exeter Police sergeant, accused of having sex with a minor. Jeff Detwiler, 46, is charged with having sex with a 17-year-old girl who was a member of the police explorer's program. He was arrested Tuesday afternoon and on Wednesday he appeared in a Tulare County pretrial facility.
Detwiler, a ten year veteran of the department, faces two felony charges and a misdemeanor. Investigators say he had sex with a minor, then tried to talk her out of reporting it. The Tulare County Assistant District Attorney says the victim ultimately did come forward.
"The allegations stem from her so that's what spurred the investigation," said Dan Underwood, Assistant District Attorney.
The criminal complaint says Detwiler had sex with the victim between October of 2011 and October of 2012. In June of 2012, he apparently tried to talk her out of telling authorities. The Exeter Police Department says it caught wind of the allegations three months ago and put Detwiler on paid leave. The District Attorney Bureau of Investigations took the case.
"We never like to see a police officer arrested over any type of crime, especially one like this where the minor is under 18, but the investigation went where it did and we ended up here where charges were filed," said Underwood.
The D.A.'s office won't say where the crimes may have happened or how many times, but the victim was a police explorer. According to the City of Exeter's web site, Detwiler was in charge of the program. It's for teens and young adults from ages 14 to 20, interested in pursuing police work. Explorers can ride with officers on a regular basis. Detwiler lives in the small city of Exeter, a half mile from the police department. One neighbor said off camera that he's a "great guy."
The misdemeanor charge is for possession of a type of steroid. His bail is set at $75,000.