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Police Officer Faces Court Over Alleged Sexual Touching Incident At Staff Christmas Party

news
August 20 2019

By Leigh Johnston

A NSW police officer who has served on the force for 25 years was in court yesterday, charged with allegedly grabbing the breast of a female colleague while at a staff Christmas after-party last year.

Ronald ‘Ronnie’ Tarlington was suspended from his role as a Sergeant at Parramatta police area command after being charged with sexually touching the woman at the Orient Hotel in December.

He pleaded not guilty to the charge in court yesterday.

Just before 10pm on December 5, 2018, Tarlington is alleged to have slid his right hand down an unbuttoned part of the woman’s shirt before “grabbing her breast…while making a grunting noise”, according to prosecutor Peter Bakalidis. “The entirety of relevant events…were captured on a CCTV system,” Mr Bakalidis said.

The footage which was shown to the Court shows him engaging in a playful exchange with the complainant, who could be seen pulling the hood of his dark-coloured jumper over his head several times.

Shortly after, he then appears to pull the woman onto his lap, when it is alleged he grabbed her breast, before she stands up and is pulled into another room by a friend.

Mr Bakalidis alleged the footage showed the woman “pulling (Tarlington’s) hand away” and “immediately removing herself from the situation” once she realised what happened.”

The officer in charge of the case, inspector David El-Badawi said he obtained over four fours of CCTV footage from the Christmas party and the after-party venue at the Orient Hotel.

Mr El-Badawi said after he met with the complainant and other witnesses to get statements, he emailed Mr Tarlington in late December 2018 to request an interview over the incident however his request was declined.

Mr Tarlington was then charged in March 2019.

The hearing will continue in November.