UI Officer arrested for misusing law enforcement database


URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) – A University of Illinois police officer was arrested for official misconduct.

The department says Jerald Sandage was arrested Friday for incidents that occurred between February 2017 and January 2018. Police say Sandage misused law enforcement databases and security cameras to find personal information about women on and off the U of I campus.

Sandage was put on leave in September 2018 when a woman accused him of sexual assault. She says it happened off campus while he was off duty.

The U of I Police Department has provided a timeline to explain how the investigation lead to an arrest:

September 2018: A woman reported that she was the victim of a sexual assault that Sandage is alleged to have committed while off duty. The investigation was referred to the Illinois State Police (ISP). Sandage was immediately relieved of his police authority and placed on administrative leave. In addition, his access to law enforcement information and resources was revoked. He was later allowed to return to desk duty with the investigation pending, however his access to law enforcement resources was not restored.

January 2019: ISP provided information to the Champaign County State’s Attorney’s Office. Based on Sandage’s position as a recently active police officer, the State’s Attorney’s Office requested that a special prosecutor be appointed. A judge appointed the appellate prosecutor’s office to handle the matter.

September 2019: A second woman reported that Sandage sexually assaulted her in 2012.

October 2019: Both victims declined to participate further in the investigation, and no charges have been filed at this time in those matters. ISP turned over to UIPD the evidence collected during the investigation, and UIPD immediately commenced an internal investigation to address personnel matters related to Sandage’s conduct.

December 2019: During the course of the internal investigation, it was determined that Sandage likely had engaged in criminal acts involving misuse of law enforcement resources. UIPD provided its reports to the Champaign County State’s Attorney for review, and the State’s Attorney determined there was sufficient evidence to file criminal charges of official misconduct. The evidence also included photos of women that are suspected to have been taken without their consent.

Police say because of the time period over which this all took place, there could be more victims. They are asking anyone with information about Sandage’s conduct to contact Lt. Joseph McCullough at the University of Illinois Police Department by calling 217-333-1216 or by email at jmccull@illinois.edu.

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