Ex-deputy cleared in sexual contact complaint in Montezuma County

Darrin Harper fired last month

A former Montezuma County sheriff's deputy accused of inappropriately touching a female suspect has been cleared of any wrongdoing after an investigation.

The Cortez Journal reports that prosecutors and the sheriff's office both conducted an investigation and determined no charges were warranted against former deputy Darrin Harper.

A 52-year-old woman had alleged in a January complaint that Harper had fondled her during a traffic stop in 2012. But the woman later told investigators during an interview that she has a mental illness and sometimes makes up things "that did not happen."

The woman had been arrested on suspicion of driving on the influence of drugs on the night in question, but the charges were later dismissed.

The investigation into the complaint also included listening to recorded jail phone calls, talking with the alleged victim’s husband, and interviewing several officers present at the scene on the night in question, but no evidence was found to corroborate the complaint.

Harper was fired last month because of other misconduct complaints, including arresting people without probable cause.

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