Suburban park district police chief charged with secretly recording sex acts

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Christian Daigre | Chicago police

The police chief of a south suburban park district had sex with two women in a South Loop apartment and then allegedly shared those photos without the women’s consent — then threatened witnesses who planned to report the situation to police, authorities said Wednesday.

Christian Daigre, 40, was ordered held at the Cook County Jail in leiu of posting $25,000 bail after he was charged with two felony counts of non-consensual dissemination of a private sexual image, two counts of intimidation and one count of possession of a controlled substance, all felonies, according to a statement from Chicago police.

Daigre, police chief of the Chicago Heights Park District, turned himself in to authorities Monday.

Park District Superintendent Frank Perez said he was notified of the allegations on Oct. 5, placed Daigre on administrative leave and alerted law enforcement.

Todd Pugh, an attorney representing Daigre, said the charges were “completely false” and believes the images were released by a former colleague in retaliation.

Assistant State’s Attorney Rachel Mabbott said Daigre recorded himself having sex with a 24-year-old woman in February 2016 and a 43-year-old woman the following month after meeting them on dating sites.

Neither women knew Daigre had a camera located near the ceiling of his apartment that was recording the acts, nor did they give their consent when Daigre allegedly sent images from those encounters to another person, Mabbott said at a hearing Wednesday at the Leighton Criminal Court Building.

While Chicago police detectives were investigating, Daigre allegedly contacted a witness and threatened to “skull f—” him and the witness’ brother, Mabbott said. He also allegedly said he would have police officers in south suburban Midlothian “f—” the witness’ entire family.

The younger woman also allegedly received a message that threatened her and her family if she did not drop the case.

Mabbott said both of those threats came from a phone that was bought, turned on and then shut off after the messages were sent. The name on the account was Christian Smith — a pseudonym Daigre allegedly used for his dating profiles.

Daigre, who lives with his wife and children in Dyer, Ind., was hired by the park district’s police department in 2015 as a commander, authorities said. He was promoted to chief in 2016 when then-chief of the department was charged with DUI, the Sun-Times reported.

In a statement, Chicago Heights Mayor David Gonzalez said the city was cooperating even though the park district is not under its oversight.

“I [have] offered to provide the park district’s governing board any possible material supportand assistance to restore the integrity of the board’s park police operations,” he said. “Public officials,especially law enforcement officers, who pledge to faithfully execute the law, must hold themselvesto the highest possible standards of professional conduct and trust, and when they fail, they fail the

communities that they are entrusted to serve.”

Daigre’s wife attended the hearing Wednesday and declined to comment.

When Chicago police detectives searched the South Loop apartment on Tuesday, they discovered a “small envelope and one small knotted bag” that each contained suspected cocaine.

Pugh denied the substance found was Daigre’s. He “is not a drug user,” Pugh said after the hearing. “I understand several people had access to that studio.”

Prosecutors asked that Daigre be placed on electronic monitoring as a condition of his bond and to relinquish his firearms owners ID card, due to the threats made against a witness and one of the women.

Pugh said that if Daigre was ordered to turn in his guns, he would “effectively lose his job” because he wouldn’t be able to work as a police officer.

Judge Mary Marubio did not rule on either request Wednesday.

Marubio set Daigre’s bail at $25,000 and ordered him to have no contact with any witnesses or the two women in the case.

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