CHICAGO, IL—Chicago Police Officer Eugene Ciardullo was charged with felony criminal sexual assault after being accused of having sexual contact with an underage girl, according to reports.
Ciardullo, 51, was arrested at his home Saturday, January 14, reported department spokesperson Officer Jose Estrada. The following day, Ciardullo was ordered to be held on a $75,000 bail by Cook County Judge Maria Kuriakos Ciesil.
In court on Sunday, January 15, prosecutors said Ciardullo began communicating with the victim, along with some of her friends, on social media when the victim was 16. It was noted by prosecutors and police that the victim identified Ciardullo as the person who began having a “sexual relationship” with her when she was 17.
“The defendant and the victim discussed their age difference and the defendant told the victim he could lose his job and go to jail if they were caught,” said Cook County Assistant State Attorney Ed Murillo. “The defendant told the victim to tell people who asked about their relation that they were just good friends.”
Prosecutors said Ciardullo, who has been with the department for 21 years, admitted to the allegations as well as the knowledge of the victim’s age.
Chicago police spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi explained that Ciardullo is assigned to Chicago Police Department’s Deering District on the South Side.
Ciardullo also worked as a part-time security guard at a Chicago Public School within the police and firefighter resident dense neighborhood ofMount Greenwood. Michael Passman, a Chicago Public School District official, reported Ciardullo’s employment with the school district ended in December 2016.
The suspect’s defense attorney, George Grzeca, mentioned Ciardullo achieved four commendations and 100 honorable mentions throughout his career.
If Ciardullo posts bail, he will have to meet the terms of surrendering any owned firearms and his passport. He would not be allowed any internet access or have any contact with anyone under the age of 18.
Public records show Ciardullo has seven children, all are above the age of 18.
Guglielmi reported the Chicago Police Department’s internal affairs division is investigating the case. The division will be presenting their findings to the Chicago Police Board in order to determine how Ciardullo’s discipline should be handled.
“The Chicago Police Department is currently also investigating this incident internally and administratively. We remain committed to the highest levels of accountability for our officers and members and will not tolerate any activity or actions that undermine the integrity of the hard working men and women of our Department,” said Guglielmi in a statement.
City records show Ciardullo has been a CPD officer since August 1995. Throughout his career, he has obtained roughly 40 complaints, ranging from minor violations to excessive force allegations. Out of those complaints, Ciardullo has been officially disciplined for two accounts. In 2001, he was given a 10-day suspension for allegedly using excessive force. In 2008, he received a two-day suspension reportedly for a “weapon/ammunition, uniform deviation” violation.
Ciardullo is expected back in court on Tuesday, January 17.