By Kevin McKenzie The Commercial Appeal
Posted July 29, 2011
Officer James Bishof
A Shelby County Sheriff's Office detective was the only man working in the ninth-floor offices for investigators in Downtown Memphis when a 22-year-old woman arrived on July 11.
Charged with misdemeanor domestic assault the day before, the young woman wanted to talk about her case.
The domestic violence detective who said he could help, James Bishof, 58, is now accused of convincing the woman to expose herself to allow him to take photographs in a private women's restroom and then at the woman's home, where he also is accused of making sexual advances.
Sheriff Bill Oldham on Friday stood in a ninth-floor conference room at 201 Poplar to announce charges of aggravated sexual battery, sexual battery by an authority figure and official oppression lodged against Bishof on Thursday.
"This type of behavior will not be tolerated," Oldham said.
About 4:30 a.m. on July 10, sheriff's deputies had arrested the woman at a home outside of Millington, according to a court affidavit.
After a night with friends on Beale Street in Memphis and separated from her husband for about three weeks, she intruded on her estranged husband and a woman, according to a court affidavit. She is accused of striking both of them.
The sheriff and a court affidavit outlining the charges against Bishof, written by sheriff's office investigators and based on statements from the victim and others involved, gave this description of events:
Bishof showed the woman a photograph on his computer of a naked woman viewed from behind with bruises on her body.
He told the woman that she was in a similar situation and that he believed he could help her.
With the sheriff's office for 18 years and a detective since 2005, Bishof took the woman to a private women's restroom accessible from a short hallway. He took photographs of her breasts, buttocks and private area, where no injuries were present.
Telling her that he had a better camera used at crime scenes, the detective told the woman he wanted to meet her at her residence near Millington that afternoon to take more photos. While on his way there, he called her and told her she needed to remove any clothing with elastic in it.
When she arrived, she removed her gym shorts and T-shirt and Bishof photographed her injuries. He took sexually explicit pictures again and had her sit in a chair. He kneeled, trapping her with his elbows, touched her and made sexual advances.
The woman told investigators that she was uncomfortable, but was afraid to say anything because the detective had a badge and a gun. When Bishof moved away, she put her clothes on and went outside.
Despite attempts to delete the digital images, investigators recovered photographs from Bishof's work camera.
Oldham said the woman's father initially tipped the sheriff's office to the incident.
Bishof has been relieved of duty with pay -- he makes about $25 an hour -- during the investigation and administrative hearing expected to follow.
The sheriff said policies are in place to prevent such incidents but Bishof violated them.
-- Kevin McKenzie: 529-2348
In: Regional News
Tags: sexual battery, police misconduct, police abuse, copblock.org, cop block
Location: Memphis, Tennessee, United States (load item map)
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