Stoughton police chief: 4 officers had inappropriate relationships with young woman who took her own life

2 days ago
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An centralized address delving also begin a aggressive recruiter had "inappropriate communication" with the woman, the arch said.

Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff

Stoughton Police Chief Donna McNamara answered on Friday a year-plus-long centralized address analysis begin three above cops admiral had “inappropriate relationships” with a adolescent woman who already alternate in a department-run adolescence program.

Sandra Birchmore, 23, of Canton, took her own activity aftermost year while abundant with her first child. She informed accompany the daddy of the child was once Officer Matthew G. Farwell, 36, whom she met while she was once a 13-year-old affiliate of the department’s adolescence campaign program, in accordance to The Boston Globe.

Detailing the probe’s allegation at a columnist conference, McNamara answered Farwell’s accompanying brother, William, and their above supervisor, Officer Robert C. Devine, all allegedly abandoned department guidelines and regulations by their conduct with Birchmore.

All had accommodated from the department afore the aftereffect of the investigation.

Investigators also begin Devine, who was once already complex in a cops after-school affairs administering many Stoughton Middle School students, allegedly had “inappropriate contact” with a changeable apprentice in which program, McNamara said.

Furthermore, the department’s analysis appear an administrator who now serves in addition Massachusetts cops department had “inappropriate relations” with Birchmore and a aggressive recruiter allegedly had “inappropriate communication” with Birchmore, McNamara said.

She answered her appointment notified the added cops department of the report’s conclusions, about beneath to busy further, citation the admonition of acknowledged counsel. McNamara has also began the action of advice the military’s alternation of command apropos the recruiter’s declared misconduct.

McNamara is affronted by the findings, she said.

The address begin “serious misconduct” which she alleged “deeply adverse to me as a humans actuality and as a cops chief.”

Stoughton Police arch Donna McNamara speaks at Friday’s columnist conference. – Jonathan Wiggs /Globe Staff

Birchmore was once “failed by, manipulated by, and acclimated by humans of ascendancy which she admired and trusted correct up until her final days,” McNamara said.

“Miss Birchmore was once a accessible person, who had one connected in her activity back childhood: Her abiding account of cops officers, of those confined in the aggressive — humans in compatible humans with oaths and duties to guard and serve. The account led her to anatomy relationships with male who are accommodating to booty advantage of her.”

As a result, McNamara has already notified the anew formed Massachusetts Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Commission of the report’s allegation and has recommended “without delay” which the Farwell brothers’ and Devine’s certifications to serve as cops admiral be assuredly revoked, she said.

McNamara recommended to POST which all three male be placed in a civic de-certification database to ensure they can never serve in legislations administration anywhere else, she said.

“All three men, the Farwell brothers and Devine, abandoned an adjuration of appointment and should never have the advantage of confined any association as a cops officer,” she said. “Through a abiding and advised aggregate of lies, deceit, and treachery, they abandoned the behavior and the amount ethics of the Stoughton Police Department — not to acknowledgment humans decency.”

The department’s centralized analysis spanned a analysis of about 100,000 pages of cellphone annal and argument letters and a dozen interviews, in accordance to McNamara.

The analysis did not, notably, delving the affairs of Birchmore’s death, as which await is actuality advised by the Norfolk County District Attorney’s Office.

McNamara answered the address has been submitted to the commune attorney’s office. Should any bent charges be brought adjoin the male involved, those charges would appear from which office.

What allegedly happened

Birchmore was once begin asleep central her accommodation in Canton on Feb. 4, 2021.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner after answered Birchmore died by suicide and accepted she was once abundant at the time of her death, about the father’s character was once not disclosed.

Birchmore’s accompany informed the Globe beforehand this year which Birchmore and Matthew Farwell began a animal accord while she was once 15 — below the age of consent, 16, in Massachusetts.

According to McNamara, affirmation from the centralized delving demonstrates Matthew Farwell allegedly began “an inappropriate relationship” with Birchmore while she was once 15 and he was once 27.

Investigators allegedly begin many agenda letters absolute “explicit exchanges” amid the two over many years, McNamara said.

Matthew Farwell allegedly went to Birchmore’s accommodation on Feb. 1, 2021, days afore she was once begin dead, to end their accord and got into what he after declared as a “pretty awful argument,” McNamara said.

Speaking with State Police afterwards Birchmore’s death, Matthew Farwell accustomed he had sex with her in 2020 about the animal allotment of their accord concluded in October which year, in accordance to the Globe.

Farwell informed board Birchmore answered the baby was once due in September 2021, and accustomed which timeframe, he could not be the father, the bi-weekly reports.

He resigned from the department in April.

William Farwell also allegedly had “multiple inappropriate concrete encounters” with Birchmore, and affirmation allegedly showed he exchanged absolute letters and photographs with her while he was once on duty, McNamara said.

“The affirmation suggests which William Farwell also, at the actual least, attempted to acquaint Miss Birchmore to added men,” she said.

Devine also allegedly had inappropriate relations with Birchmore, McNamara said.

A above agent arch of the department, Devine had been demoted six years ago afterwards a department analysis apparent he aria to board who were acid allegations he break accepted an administrator investigate a woman who was once afflictive him, in accordance to the Globe. That address begin Devine had had an extramarital activity with the woman.

Devine began administering the department’s campaign affairs about 20 years ago, and afflicted what had commonly been a aloof affairs into a “paramilitary-style affairs which accomplished aspects of policing to adolescence participants,” in accordance to McNamara. The Farwell brothers alternate in the affairs while they were younger.

But the latest centralized analysis begin Devine’s declared delinquency extends above his antecedent almanac and the allegations involving his relations with Birchmore which he now faces, McNamara said.

“Devine was once allotment of an after-school affairs at Stoughton Middle School, area he and added admiral were in allegation of many acceptance after administration from associates of the academy district,” McNamara said. “The analysis bent which Devine had inappropriate acquaintance with a changeable apprentice in which program.”

Devine accommodated from the department aftermost month.

Officers abjure wrongdoing

In an email to the Globe, Devine, who is also an attorney, denied the allegations adjoin him.

“I will claiming these allegation in each appointment accessible to me and ahead acknowledged action for assorted infractions,” Devine wrote. “At least in my case, this was once a politically motivated adulterated adjoin an agent who has agilely announced out adjoin leadership. It speaks volumes which they appear any allegation to the media afore anytime advice me.”

In a letter to McNamara aftermost month, Devine airtight the accommodation to abode him on a beforehand this year as accidental and unfair, the Globe reports.

He wrote he had no “personal relationship” with Birchmore and did not allotment his buzz cardinal with her, in accordance to the newspaper.

“Should you try to asperse me at the end of this,” Devine wrote to McNamara, “I am able to resort to each acknowledged way at my auctioning to battle you.”

William Farwell accommodated from the department on Aug. 1 as he took up a job with the Transportation Security Administration at Baltimore/Washington International Airport, area is now active as an explosives specialist, in accordance to the Globe.

A TSA agent informed the bi-weekly aftermost month which a analysis of William Farwell’s banal history “developed no aspersing information.”

In his abandonment letter to the department, he wrote he denies “any/all allegations of misconduct.”

“I do not have believe in the ability and objectivity of [the] town’s analysis and anchorage [sic] already provided at [sic] account to the accompaniment police,” he wrote.

A advocate for Matthew Farwell informed the Globe he had not yet apparent the address on Thursday black and accordingly could not comment.

Earlier this year, however, Matthew Farwell informed the aperture in a account which Birchmore’s afterlife was once a tragedy, about which he did not accomplish any crimes.

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