SAN ANTONIO – The former San Antonio police officer who was accused of luring women into a prostitution scheme but never went to trial has been denied an appeal of his termination from the department, records obtained by The Defenders show.
Aaron Alford was arrested and charged with official oppression in September 2015. Police have said Alford convinced women they could make extra money working undercover, sending them to two other officers who continued the ruse and required four women to have sex with them during fake job interviews. There was no undercover operation, police said.
Charges against Alford were dismissed in March 2017 by the district attorney's office due to insufficient evidence. The other officers -- Alejandro Chapa and Emmanuel Galindo -- were later convicted on charges of compelling prostitution. Chapa is serving a three-year sentence in state prison. His conviction has been confirmed by an appellate court. Galindo is appealing his conviction. He is serving a five-year sentence.
While Alford's arrest was listed in the suspension paperwork, the arbitrator determined that allegation "was not persuasive in sustaining" Alford's termination.
The San Antonio Police Department also accused Alford of violating the department's policies of conduct and behavior and cooperation with agencies.
SAPD alleged during the investigation of the sexual assaults, investigators with the Department of Public Safety and Live Oak Police Department tried to talk to Alford, but "he used abusive and profane language" and he "refused to give the Texas Ranger extremely important and pertinent information."
"(Alford) also impeded the investigation by asking Chapa what to say to the investigators and giving Chapa time to shut down relevant Google Voice Accounts that were used to contact the victims," the arbitration document said. "It is important for police officers to act in a manner that is above reproach, to cooperate with fellow agencies that are investigating serious crimes, and to not cover up for fellow police officers who have committed serious crimes. (Alford) failed to meet these three standards."
One of the victims filed a civil rights lawsuit against Galindo and Chapa. That case is still pending.