Justin LaClere, 33, was sentenced to 60 days in jail for “luring a minor for sexual exploitation,” a class 3 felony, and “sexual conduct with a minor,” a class 6 felony — charges that often carry a two- to seven-year sentence.
A seven-year veteran of the Phoenix Police Department, LaClere was arrested by Scottsdale Police in January 2014 after authorities learned that he’d had sex with the 17-year-old high school student he’d been courting. The two met through on the social media site Whisper, which allows users to upload pictures anonymously and privately message one another about them.
According to court documents obtained by New Times, the girl, whose name has not been released because she was a minor at the time of the arrest, “uploaded a picture of a baby with the text ‘I want to get pregnant but I’m only a teen’ written across it.”
After coming across the photograph, LaClere, who went by the handle “Jason69er,” sent her a private message and the two corresponded for the next two days.
LaClere was not at all dissuaded by the girl’s age, and instead probed for details about her desire to get pregnant:
“Want a baby in ya?” he messaged her.
“Ya,” she responded.
“You’d be a beautiful pregnant mommy, heck maybe I’d help ya,” he said, adding that they should get together soon and “start making a baby” since he’s “wanted a young pregnant girlfriend.”
At some point during their online conversation, he asked: “Is me being older okay?”
“Yah,” she said, “but I know my parents wouldn’t like it though [and] I’d be worried my dad would call the cops and have you arrested for sleeping with a minor since I’m not of legal age to sleep with you.”
Still, he sent her photographs of himself, including one in which he was wearing a dark blue uniform with Phoenix PD patches on the shoulders,” court documents show, and suggested that she sneak away from her parents after school and meet up with him:
“He told her that he thought she should go home after school and if no one was there he would come in really quickly and they could have sex," it says in the documents. "She agreed to the plan.”
The girl sent LaClere her Scottsdale address and told him that her dad was out running errands.
According to a statement the girl later gave to the Scottsdale police, she and LaClere went up to her bedroom and had sex on the floor without a condom. Immediately after the act, he got dressed and left the house.
Sergeant Benjamin Hoster of the Scottsdale Police Department told New Times last summer that the department only learned about the incident because the girl told her friends about it at school the next day. The friends promptly told the school’s resource officer, who called the girl in for an interview.
She admitted that the story was true and showed the two photographs “Jason69er” had sent her, which allowed the police to identify him as Justin Francis LaClere.
LaClere was arrested at his home in Gilbert on January 16 and immediately resigned from the PPD.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Phoenix New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Phoenix's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Court documents show that he admitted to being “Jason69er” and to having sex with a girl he knew was a minor, and he was booked in jail on two felony charges — child abuse and sex with a minor.
LaClere initially pleaded “not guilty” to the charges, but he changed his plea in July 2015 after accepting a deal from the state. Six months later, he was finally sentenced by Judge Margaret Mahoney.
Vincent Funari, spokesman for the Maricopa County Superior Court, writes in an e-mail that as “per the plea,” LaClere will serve 60 days in jail, after which he will be subject “to lifetime supervised probation with sex offender terms."
It remains unclear at this time whether LaClere will be registered as a Level I II, or III sex offender.