Former Officer At Center Of Child Abuse Investigation Tells His Story
BERTHOUD, Colo. (CBS4)- The former officer at the center of a child abuse investigation is telling his story after his supervisor resigned.
Berthoud’s former police chief Glenn Johnson turned in his resignation on Monday. He was being investigated for his handing of a child abuse case involving Officer Jeremy Yachik.
Yachik was fired in October after he was accused of physically abusing his teenage daughter on at least four occasions last year.
Yachik was arrested Oct. 23 on a warrant charging him with four counts of child abuse resulting in injury and one count of false imprisonment, which are all misdemeanor charges.
Yachik was arrested about one month after Berthoud town board members and Loveland police received an email from Yachik’s former fiancee accusing him of abuse. The email included a video recording of a child being choked, punched and kicked by an adult male.
His former fiancee told investigators that she attempted to report the incident to Johnson, but she received no response.
Yachik said the video was taken at least two years ago and that his ex had an ulterior motive, “The video was taken by my ex in an attempt to blackmail me.”
Ashley Saint Roberts was his then girlfriend. In March they had a fight in their Loveland home and police were called.
Saint Roberts was arrested on domestic violence charges.
“She stated that she was going to do everything in her power to cost me my job by the end of the week,” said Yachik.
Yachik says that’s when she mailed the old tape to his chief.
“Chief Johnson reviewed the video, sat me down in his office. We had a long conversation about it and he made the determination it was not child abuse,” said Yachik.
Yachik’s attorney, Troy Krenning, said tree other agencies also reviewed the tape and did not report child abuse.
After the tape was made public the Loveland Police Department was asked to investigate and arrested Yachik.
“He is being charged with a specific crime and that’s child abuse and child abuse says that in order to be convicted you must cause injury to somebody,” said Krenning.
Yachik admits he made a mistake but intended no harm, “The so-called punch was just a tap on the arm and didn’t leave a mark even and the so-called kick was tapping her on the behind with the bottom of my toe.”
Yachik said he took the disciplinary action because his daughter was lying and throwing a fit.
Yachik’s daughter was interviewed by police in Loveland.
“My dad has never laid a hand on me. He spanked me on the butt when I was younger,” she said in the interview.
Yachik insisted the police steered the girl toward implicating him.
“Ashley was taking the video,” said Yachik’s daughter. “He was just beating me, like hitting me. He was shouting, ‘Better tell the truth, better tell the truth, better tell the truth.'”
In much of the tape the girl claims Saint Roberts had abused her instead.
Yachik had this to say about the tape, “I was frustrated and I wasn’t exactly polite but I didn’t cause an injury to her or harm her in any way.”
The domestic violence charges against Saint Roberts were recently dropped. Her attorney said she was not trying to blackmail Yachik by mailing the tape to his supervisor.