A Hayward police officer pleaded not guilty today to charges of oral copulation, threatening to shoot a 17-year-old boy if he told anyone that they had engaged in sexual activity and telling him to keep a second alleged victim quiet.
Officer Jeff Cristofani, 41, of Tracy entered not-guilty pleas during a hearing at the Hayward Hall of Justice. Superior Court Judge Jo-Lynne Lee ordered Cristofani to return to court June 12 for a pretrial hearing.
"No comment," Cristofani said afterward.
Cristofani, an 18-year department veteran, was charged earlier this month with three counts of oral copulation with a minor and two counts of intimidating or dissuading a witness.
He was named in an amended complaint filed today in which prosecutors changed the location of one of the alleged sexual acts to San Joaquin County, where he lives, instead of Alameda County.
Cristofani, a weapons instructor with the department, is free on $250,000 bail. He is on paid administrative leave.
The criminal complaint charges Cristofani with having oral sex with a boy between January 2000 and the end of 2001, and having oral sex with another boy twice in April 1997.
Cristofani is also charged with dissuading the second alleged victim from coming forward in recent months as police investigated accusations against the officer.
One alleged victim said he was 17 when he orally copulated Cristofani, Hayward police wrote in a statement that outlined grounds for the officer's arrest.
That accuser went to police in recent weeks and agreed to meet with Cristofani and carry a hidden tape recorder, the statement said. The accuser confronted Cristofani and alluded to a threat the officer allegedly made to "shoot him if (the alleged victim) ever disclosed their sexual affair," the statement said.
"Cristofani made specific references to his prior threat and their sexual affair," the police statement said.
The same alleged victim told police he believed the officer had sexually assaulted his friend and reported that Cristofani had told him during an Internet chat to keep his friend quiet, the statement said.
Police contacted that person, who said Cristofani had orally copulated him at the officer's Tracy home when he was 16 years old, police said.
A search of the officer's home after his arrest revealed images on his computer that "could be classified as child pornography" and photos depicting Cristofani "engaging in sexual relations with unknown young males," the statement said.
Cristofani is the second Hayward police officer to face criminal charges in recent years.
In 2005, former Hayward rookie Officer Jose Hector Nunez Jr. was sentenced to a year of work furlough and five years' probation after forcing a teenage girl to undress during an unwarranted traffic stop. He resigned and pleaded no contest in December 2004 to felony false imprisonment.
Nunez, a father of three and a former Marine, detained the girl, who was 16 at the time, in the early-morning hours of July 11, 2004. He took her behind an auto-parts store and ordered her to remove her bra, lift her shirt and drop her pants, authorities said.
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