NORTH OLMSTED, Ohio — A North Olmsted police detective is under investigation after being accused of having an inappropriate relationship with the mother and wife of the suspects he was investigating.
The woman involved said it all started when her daughter, husband, brother, and another woman were arrested for a 2019 robbery.
Jennifer Krug said she started talking with the detective, who she's known since they were kids, in hopes he could help her family.
Instead, Krug said the detective, who we've chosen not to name since he hasn't been charged with any wrongdoing, took advantage of her situation.
"He's an officer of the law and you do not take advantage of people when they're weak," said Krug. "You just don't."
Krug said the officer initially texted her it was about the criminal case involving her family members.
But Krug said those text messages soon turned sexual.
5 On Your Side Investigators obtained copies of more than 1,600 pages of the text messages through a public records request.
At times, it appeared the detective appeared to be on duty.
In one case, the detective wrote, "Just past (sic) your place and if my partner was not with me, I would be all up on u."
The text messages were sent during a five-month period.
"It was...I mean non-stop, non-stop, non-stop," said Krug.
Krug said the relationship eventually turned physical.
"It is very disturbing what went on in this case," said attorney Ashlie Case Sletvold, who represents Krug in her complaint against the detective filed with North Olmsted police.
"I cannot think of a circumstance where it would be appropriate for a detective to send a mother of a criminal defendant a photo of two people engaged in a sex act," said Case Sletvold.
Looking back, Krug believes the detective preyed on her vulnerability.
"I’m alone," said Krug. "He kind of just was the only person there, and, he was the only one who seemed to care."
Now she's worried her complaint will fall on deaf ears.
North Olmsted police are conducting an internal investigation despite requests from Krug's attorney to bring in an outside agency to investigate the detective's actions.
"This is not something that should be brushed under the rug," said Case Sletvold. "This creates, at least from my perspective, a serious question about whether the judgment of this particular officer is something that can be trusted going forward in the future."
North Olmsted city leaders declined a request for an interview.
Instead, in a statement, Mayor Kevin Kennedy said "It is my understanding that several law enforcement agencies declined to perform this disciplinary review absent any criminal allegations. I have every reason to be confident in the internal review process since I may ultimately review reports and recommendations from the Chief of Police."
The mayor also pointed to the fact Krug's daughter, husband, brother, and another woman were sentenced to prison in the case.
"It does not appear that the Detective’s alleged misconduct compromised the effectiveness of the criminal justice system," wrote Kennedy.
But Krug remains convinced the detective took advantage of her situation to satisfy his own desires.
"It’s not okay that just because something is going on, you use your power to pretend you’re going to help somebody or be their friend and just do something of that nature," said Krug. "It’s just not okay."
According to the detective's personnel file, his superiors noted his work on the case in his performance evaluation last year when they said the detective "exceeds expectations."
The detective has not responded to a message seeking comment.