FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A jury in Florida took just 20 minutes to find an officer who threatened to send nude photos of his former girlfriend to their colleagues on their police force guilty of extortion.
The SunSentinel reports jurors decided Wednesday that James Krey, 40, threatened to release the photos and a sex video unless she resigned from her position on the Davie Police Department in suburban Fort Lauderdale. He faces up to 15 years in prison when he’s sentenced in February.
The 26-year-old woman testified she met Krey when she was a rookie in late 2013 and their rocky relationship lasted more than a year. According to testimony, the pair apparently broke up and then got back together repeatedly over the course of several months.
She testified that March 9, 2015, started with the couple exchanging “I love you” text messages and ended with Krey demanding that she step down from the police force and leave Broward County.
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“Jimmy, please don’t destroy me. I will leave the department,” she wrote in one message read to the jury.
“You’re going to have to leave Broward, sweetheart,” Krey replied. “Anywhere you go, I have people.”
The prosecutors, Chris Killoran and Whitney Mackay, told jurors that Kray convicted himself with the messages.
“Leave Davie,” Mackay said, while quoting from one of the text messages. It was preceded by nude photos the victim had sent him while they were together.
Defense lawyer Jeremy Kroll argued that there was nothing wrong with Krey having those photos. Mackay agreed, adding “but that does not give him the right to later share those pictures with the SWAT team.”
Kroll said his client, a former Davie Police Officer of the Year, handled the breakup poorly. But, he argued, Krey didn’t commit extortion. He said the woman already had talked to others about moving away from Broward County.
Jurors agreed with prosecutors, who showed that Krey tied the release of the photos to his demand that she quit her job.
The woman, who still works for the Davie department, testified on Wednesday and returned later that day to hear the verdict. She left the courtroom in tears.
Krey had been suspended without pay.
He will remain free on a $30,000 bond.