An Evanston police officer is facing departmental discipline for having off-duty contact with the victim in a harassment case.

The case is scheduled to be reviewed by the City Council’s Human Services Committee at a meeting Monday night.

A report from the department’s Office of Professional Standards says the officer, who is not named in the report, was assigned last April to call the victim and prepare a report about her situation.

The report he prepared then was assigned to a domestic violence detective for further action.

Three days later the officer, while off duty and without authorization from the department, again called the victim and arranged to meet with her in his personal car outside her residence.

The next day, the OPS report says, the victim called the detective assigned to her case and complained that while she was in his car the officer said he was single and that she believed he was making sexual advances toward her that made her feel uncomfortable.

The officer later told an OPS investigator that he had no intention of having a sexual encounter with the woman and that he just wanted to assure her that he took her case very seriously.

He also said he mentioned that he was a single man with a four-year-old daughter “to be relatable” to the victim’s situation.

In reviewing the case, the deputy chief said the accused officer’s actions were “bizarre, inappropriate and unprofessional.”

The interim chief of police concurred and concluded the officer violated several departmental rules and policies, including one that bars any “unwelcomed solicitation of a personal or sexual nature while on-duty or through the use of one’s official capacity.”

The interim chief has recommended that the accused officer serve a 16-hour suspension, that his probationary period be extended for three months and that he undergo mandatory ethics training.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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