WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — A suspended East Greenwich police officer accused of sexting a woman he had arrested only hours before did not have to take the stand at her trial after an unexpected plea agreement was reached.
Scott Cole, 30, arrested the 27-year-old woman in July on charges of drunken driving, according to court records.
About a month later, she filed a complaint that was obtained by Target 12 claiming Cole contacted her the morning of the arrest through a voicemail and text messages.
In her complaint, she wrote Cole “was hitting on me / flirting with me.”
According to copies of the text messages, she received a lewd picture around 3:30 p.m. the day of the arrest.
“I was flabbergasted,” she wrote in her complaint. “He seemed to have all the control and I didn’t want to upset him.”
Her attorney Michael Egan said the messages included a solicitation for oral sex.
“This was within hours of her arrest,” Egan said. “She had not even been arraigned yet in district court and he’s reaching out to contact her. Flirting back and forth and then it became very inappropriate.”
East Greenwich Police Chief Stephen Brown confirmed Cole is currently suspended with pay, with the town seeking termination through the Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights.
Egan said in his opinion the town of East Greenwich wanted Cole to testify in the DUI case to potentially help the termination case.
“My feeling is they wanted me to get him on the stand and cross examine him,” Egan said. “Therefore making it easier for them to do whatever procedure they’re going to do to terminate him.”
According to Egan, East Greenwich was unwilling to accept a plea agreement until Monday’s hearing, when his client pleaded no contest to a count of reckless driving.
She was not fined, and her case was filed for a year.
Neither the town solicitor nor Cole would comment after the hearing.
According to town officials, Cole had been also suspended in April after he was arrested for DUI in West Warwick.
Court records show Cole’s DUI case is currently open in the State Veterans court, with a hearing scheduled for next month.
In the text string with the woman, messages that appeared to come from Cole acknowledged his record, and also offered a legal opinion.
“DUIs are not as bad as they used to be,” one of the texts said. “You can get a hardship license now for work.”