Target: Joseph Foster, New Hampshire Attorney General and Chuck Morse, President of the New Hampshire Senate
Goal: Adequately punish officer who asked teen to pose nude in order to have the charge against her dropped
A police officer that allegedly asked an 18-year-old girl to pose nude in order to have a charge against her dropped has still not been charged with any criminal offense. The reason for this lack of legal action against ex-police chief David Seastrand is that according to New Hampshire state law, he hasn’t committed a crime. This is a cut and dry case of sexual harassment with an added abuse of power, yet no legal action has been taken. Something must be done to ensure that men like David Seastrand are not allowed to do the same thing in the future.
Janelle Westfall was arrested on an underage drinking charge when she was 18. Several days later, she was asked to go to the police station alone. When she arrived, she was told by the ex-police chief that she had several options going forward. One of them was a very normal offer of community service, another was that she go into the basement and have a series of nude photographs of her taken so that the police could ensure that she did not break the law again. It was a clear abuse of power and a clearer case of sexual harassment. Mr. Seastrand resigned from his position and the city offered Ms. Westfall a settlement of $70,000.
The real outrage of this case lies with the fact that although Mr. Seastrand lost his position as police chief, no criminal charges were brought against him. New Hampshire state claims that he cannot be charged under their abuse of power laws as it was not a part of his position and no charges for sexual harassment have been made against him. This is absolutely unacceptable. Please sign below to demand that New Hampshire state put laws into effect that protect people from the likes of David Seastrand and that he be forced to stand trial for his obvious crimes.
Dear Attorney General Foster and Senator Morse,
A police officer in your state asked an 18-year-old girl to pose for nude photos in return for having charges against her dropped. I don’t need to tell you how inappropriate this is as the story speaks for itself. What I do apparently need to tell you is that while you many not be able to charge David Seastrand for abuse of power, you do need to charge him for sexual harassment. This proposition may not have been an abuse of his power in the job, but there is a coercive nature to his offer that must be recognized.
I understand that Mr. Seastrand has lost his position as police chief, but I do believe that more action must be taken to discourage others from taking a similar course of action in the future. Laws must be put in place that prevent this kind of abuse and David Seastrand must be charged for sexual harrasment in criminal court. I urge you to do all you can to ensure that this does not happen again and that the victim, Ms. Janelle Westfall, gets justice.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Sally Della Wickham via Wikimedia Commons