Court Rejects Claim that Arkansas Trooper's Sex was Private Affair

OCTOBER 19, 2006 - Posted at 7:25 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - An investigator with the Arkansas State Police says having sex with a crime victim while on the job was a private affair.  But a federal appeals court says it became a public matter when it undermined work on a $300,000 embezzlement case.

Alex Sylvester complained that the Arkansas State Police violated his privacy rights when it investigated him.  The Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at St. Louis disagreed in a ruling yesterday.

Court papers show that in 2003, Sylvester investigated an embezzlement complaint and was found to have had an affair with the wife of the business owner.  The husband complained and state police investigated.

The state police director discharged Sylvester but the State Police Commission reinstated the officer without back pay and transferred him to the highway patrol.

Sylvester later sued his supervisors, claiming his privacy rights were violated.

U.S. District Judge Robert T. Dawson rejected Sylvester's claims and the appeals court yesterday upheld that ruling.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)