Framingham Police probe officer's
conduct in texting case
December 22, 2017
Jim Haddadin 617-863-7144 Metrowest Daily News
FRAMINGHAM - An investigation into explicit photographs of a local teenager being exchanged by cellphone led Framingham police to question the conduct of one of their own officers.

A department spokeswoman confirmed Friday that police conducted an internal probe into Officer Peter Tessicini's actions after his name surfaced in connection with the case.

Lt. Patti Grigas declined to comment on the department's findings, or on whether Tessicini was disciplined.

"The matter was investigated and dealt with accordingly," Grigas said. "I can't say anything more than that."

[Can you spell coverup?]

According to police reports, the mother of a teenager who was pictured in the photographs approached Tessicini - a personal acquaintance - several weeks ago to request his help identifying the person distributing photos of her daughter.

A family friend received several of the photos on her cellphone in late October. The pictures appeared to show the girl in her bra and underwear. One image also showed her bare chest, according to police.

The woman who received the photos notified the girl's mother. Suspecting that an ex-boyfriend was distributing the pictures, the victim's mother then asked Tessicini to figure out who was disseminating the material.

It's unclear whether Tessicini opened a formal police investigation, or communicated with other officers about the circumstances. Paperwork filed in court Friday paints an incomplete picture of what transpired after Tessicini became involved.

Police reports suggest other members of the Framingham Police Department did not learn of the circumstances until Nov. 10, when they were contacted directly by the victim. The young woman called the police department and reported someone had asked her ex-boyfriend for nude photographs of her, which were taken before she turned 18.

After searching the Internet, the woman said she determined the phone number used to contact her ex-boyfriend appeared to belong to Tessicini.

In a text message, someone using the number asked for "bare (expletive) pics of that (expletive)," according to the police reports.

Police reviewed telephone records and allegedly discovered approximately 10 interactions between Tessicini's personal cellphone and a phone number registered to Christopher M. Saunders, the victim's ex-boyfriend.

Tessicini initiated the communications, according to the police report, contacting Saunders first on Nov. 5, then again on Nov. 10, communicating via both voice calls and text messages, according to the report.

Police also documented numerous communications between Saunders and the 18-year-old victim, who had previously taken out a restraining order against him.

Saunders was arraigned late Friday afternoon in Framingham District Court on one count of violating the restraining order. Police say Saunders contacted his ex-girlfriend 142 times via text and voice call during the first two weeks of November.

Assistant Middlesex District Attorney Yashmeen Desai asked Judge Matthew McGrath to order Saunders held on $1,000 cash bail, saying the 22-year-old has had four restraining orders issued against him in the past.

"He is quite aware of how restraining orders work," she said, arguing Saunders was aware the myriad communications between himself and the victim violated the law.

McGrath ordered Saunders, of 9 Normandy Road, Framingham, held on $300 cash bail. He was ordered to have no contact with the victim. Saunders pleaded not guilty at the arraignment. He is next scheduled to appear in court on Jan. 11.

Matthew McGrath has always defended police officers as his main law practice. I do not believe he could find a police officer guilty of anything except farting.

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