Friday, October 3, 2008

Bad Cop, No Donut: West Jordan, Utah Cop Nelson Tuatagaloa Arrested And Charged With Forcible Sexual Abuse, But Victim May Have Been Drunk


West Jordan police officer Nelson Tuatagaloa (pictured at left) was arrested on Wednesday October 1st, 2008 for sexually abusing a suicidal woman while on duty. The 34-year-old Tuatagaloa, a two-year veteran of the force, was charged on Friday October 3rd with two counts of second-degree felony forcible sexual abuse. Bail has been set at $100,000. Full stories published by the Salt Lake Tribune, the Deseret News, KTVX Channel 4, and KSL Channel 5.

According to the charging documents filed in 3rd District Court, Tuatagaloa was in uniform and on duty the night of September 29th, when he responded to the call involving the victim, who is identified only by the initials C.M. The victim was reported to be in distress and possibly suicidal. She was sitting in her car and had been drinking.

When Tuatagaloa and two other officers responded to the scene, he handcuffed her and put her in the front of his patrol car, then took her to Jordan Valley Hospital at 3850 West 9000 South for an evaluation. But upon arrival at the hospital, he pulled into a dark part of the parking lot instead of going to the emergency room and, without her consent, kissed the woman, touched her breasts, and digitally penetrated her vagina. He threatened to arrest her if she resisted. The encounter continued for several minutes before a radio call from a dispatcher snapped the officer out of it, after which he took her inside the hospital. At that time, the victim reported the incident to hospital workers.

Tuatagaloa's sister-in-law said doesn't know why the woman is making these allegations. She says Tuatagaloa is a good man who loves his wife and four children.

West Jordan police Chief Ken McGuire released this statement: "Our department was notified of Officer Nelson Tuatagaloa's alleged misconduct during a call for service. After reviewing the allegations, he has been put on administrative leave without pay pending an active internal investigation by our department and a criminal investigation by the District Attorney's Office. We are taking this situation very seriously and are fully cooperating with all parties involved."

If convicted on both counts, Tuatagaloa could face a sentence from one to 15 years in prison.

Analysis: I'm quite skeptical of this story. If the victim was emotionally distraught and inebriated, it seriously undermines her story. I suggest readers keep an open mind about this case. But if this woman is indeed emotionally disturbed and made up this story, then it shouldn't be held against her.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

"But if this woman is indeed emotionally disturbed and made up this story, then it shouldn't be held against her."

Wha...wha...what??? If it turns out the woman made up the story, that should ABSOLUTELY be held against her.

A police officer is sitting in jail right now based on her accusations. If he's guilty, he should be punished. But if he's innocent, I think the woman should be charged criminally.

What if someone made false accusations of sexual abuse against you -- depriving you of your liberty and bringing shame on your family? Wouldn't you want the person who made the false accusation to be punished? Come on, man! The fact that she may have been "emotionally disturbed" does not exonerate her in any way.

I just hope the truth comes out.

Deseret Dawg said...

But if the woman is not in her right mind and found to be mentally incompetent, then she would need treatment rather than punishment. That was the point I was trying to make.

I would want her punished only if she did it maliciously or gratuitously.

Hilda Purcell said...

In her right mind or out of or bloody mind, allegations such as this that can ruin a person should be punishable by law. When Officer Tuatagaloa is found innocent, who will explain to his four children that "the women was drunk and suicidal". The News Media out there must not have any real news if this story had to make the headlines before all the facts were found out. It's a damned shame, a real shame.

Deseret Dawg said...

Hilda - you make a good point. I noticed that the officer's been suspended without pay; if he's exonerated, I hope West Jordan will restore his lost pay. This won't completely restore his good name, but will provide some economic justice.

Anyone who levies false charges against someone else in the justice system must be held acountable - this principle is clearly beyond debate. The real question is how to hold them accountable.

A Cop's Wife :) said...

Very well said. Thank you for being one of very few people to comment reasonably and intelligently on this tragic story. It's refreshing to know that not everyone out there has used this story as a way to defame all cops.

Anonymous said...

People know that when a person is suicidal, they are usually seeking attention that they are not getting... Does anyone think this could be a cry for attention. Was there any cameras in the police car or in the hospital parking lot. Things just dont add up. Why would the officer do all of that and then take her to the hospital for help.

Very good points Hilda and Cop's wife. I hope the truth is know and my thoughts and prayers are with Officer Tuatagaloa and his family..

Anonymous said...

I am seriously confused. I thought at first, the woman is mental, and didn't get the attention she needed from the suicide attempt, and this was the next step, plenty of media and attention. I hope that is what happened; and that this nightmare for the officer and his family will soon end. However, help me out with this, where are his police brothers, his police chief, his union representative or someone who has his back. This seems bizare that a good man is accused like this and then thrown under the bus, by everyone that should be coming to his aide. Is this common practice to leave someone in jail for two days before bail is set, and leave them on their own to post $100,000 in bail? Is there a reason he was left high and dry? It is a shame that the information that could clear this man or convict him is apparently not available, and may not be until this is all over, and this man's life is ruined. I am most frustrated with the media and their rush to have any story, at any cost. When are the media going to be held accountable for the damage and pain that they all too often cause. I really hope that things work out for the officer and his family. If this was all false, I hope the woman is held accountable, sane or not, there is already much damage that is not reversible. If she charged fraudluently, she should not be allowed to return to society and possibly repeat this situation. If she charged fraudulently, she and the media should be responsible for repairing this mans life, financially and emotianally, as well as education/training to pursue a new career path for the officer. I would not want to return to a job with this kind of risk, and no backing from anyone else on my "team" Officer T. you are in my prayers.

Anonymous said...

Nelson Tuatagaloa is a wonderful man. He has a beautiful wife and a wonderful family. I know the tuatagaloas very well. The media never tells the WHOLE story! Especially the part where the Taylorsville police department asked him to lie for another officer and said he absolutely would not even after his sergant asked him to. He testified against another police officer! HMM SMELLS LIKE A SET UP! Lets get the whole story! HE DID NOT DO THIS! My heart and prayers go out to the family and I hope they sue the pants off West Jordan police department and have plenty of money to pay off all there bills and some!

ITS THE TRUTH said...

SEASON MAUIA-lets get to the point! PLEASE READ THE HEAD LINE
((( SUICIDAL))) meaning this woman wants and needs attention! she was sitting in her car thinking about ways to make everyone elses life as misrable as her's. so she thought ok since this cop is willing to take me to the hospital when i get inside ill tell the workers that he tryed to sexual abuse me! dude please (SUICIDAL) SHOULD BE THE MAIN FOCUS ON THIS INVESTAGATION! THIS LADY COULD HAVE ALSO BEEN DRUNK.AWW MAN CAN SOMEONE HOLLER IF YOU HEAR ME!! DO YOU WATCH COPS-THE DOG-ANY OF THESE SHOWS! EVERY SUICIDAL PERSON HAS A BAD BACKROUND! SOMETHING HAD TO HAVE BEEN GOING ON IN HER HOME TO MAKE HER THAT WAY.AND THE FIRST CHANCE SHE GOT TO GET ATTENTION SHE TOOK IT AND RAN WITH IT.AND SHE GOT EXACTLY WHAT SHE WAS LOOKING FOR (( ATTENTION))..SO HOPEFULLY EVERYONE TALKING NEGATIVE ABOUT THIS COP COMES BACK TO REALITY!! HELLOOO COME TO EARTH.

ITS THE TRUTH said...

THE COP IS INNOCENT!!!!!!!
THE SO CALLED VICTIM IS CRAZEE CANT YOU TELL.

MOANANU BLOODLINE said...

Whatever happened to "innocent until proven guilty"!!!! the media has already slandered Nelson Tuatagaloas' good name and life. Their must be a drought for media in West Jordan, UT, for the media to publish allegations made from a "suicidal woman". Or maybe they are just as CRAZY as she is!

And where is the support from his fellow officiers??? It's astonishing how no one has come to the aid of this valiant human being. Why isn't no one there "to protect and serve" him??? Just makes you wonder.....

On the other hand, how is it that there are no investagations going on for this so called " suicidal victim"? Come on "boys in blue" I'd figure you guys would be all over her, making accusations such as these against one of YOUR OWN...

PRIVATE DETECTIVE FLEXZEN said...

So fAr tHiS iS wHaT iVe cOmE uP wItH! yOu kNoW iVe bEeN dOiNg aLiTtLe rEsEaRcH oF mY oWn iVe reAd aLL tHeRe iS tO rEaD aBoUt tHiS sToRy.EvErY cOmMeNt eVeRy bLoG eVeRtHinG tHeRe iS oN gOoGlE tHE nEwZ wHeRe eVeR i cAn fInD sToRyS aBoUt tHiS vErY iNtErEsTiNg tOpIc! sUcH aS bAd cOp nO dOnUt.1St oF aLL wTf iS tHaT.aLrEaDy aCuSiNg tHe cOp bEfOrE aNy inVeStAGaTiOn.PsSh gEt rEaL.aNd sEcOnD tHe cRaCk hEaD wOmAn cOuLd hAvE aLsO bEeN dRuNk!oH cOmE oN nOW.ThAtS tHE fIrSt tHinG tHAt sHoUlD hAvE bEeN lOoKeD aT bEfOrE aCcUsInG oFfIcEr N tUaTaGalOa.fRoM wHaT iVe cAmE uP wItH.ThIs mAnN iS tRuLy *iNnOcEnT* aNd nEeDs tOo bE sEt fReE.aNd nEedS tO bE aPoLoGiZeD tO. fRoM tHE mEdIa! oFfIcEr tUaTaGaLoA's nAmE iS aLL oUt tHeRe jUsT bEcuZ tHiS oNE lAdY mAkInG fAlSe aCcusAtIoNs aBoUt hIm.AnD sHe dOeSnT wAnT tO rElEaSe hEr nAmE bEcAuSe sOmeOnE mIgHT gOoGlE hEr a** aNd fInD oUt aBoUt hEr bAd hIsToRy.AnD tHEn oH mY gOoDnEsS thAt cOuLd bE aNoThR rEaSoN tO pRoVe tHaT oFfIcEr nElSoN iS iNnOcEnt!sO fOr nOw uNtIll fuRtHeR rEsEaRcH

i LeAvE yOu wItH tHiS.. (oFfiCeR nElSoN tUaTaGalOa iS a gOod mAn.hEs bEeN sErViNg tO pRoTeCt (yOu) (us) aNd (all) fOr tHe lAsT pAsT twO yEaRs, hEs bEeN pUtInG hIs lIfE oN tHe lInE tO mAkE sUrE yoU aNd yOuR fAmiLyS hAvE a sAfe cOmMUnItY tO lIvE iN. aNd jUsT bEcAuSe tHiS oNe mEnTaL dRuNk sUicIdAl wOmAn wAnTs tOo mAkE uP fAkE sToRiEs.EvEry OnE iS jUsT gOiNg tO jUmP tO cOnClUsIoNs aNd auTomAtiCaLLy tHiNk thAt hE iS a bAdD cOp! (( bEfOrE aNy tHiNg bAdd wAs sAiD aBoUt oFfIcEr nElsOn yOu sHoUlD hAvE cHeCkeD fOr tHe fAcTs tHe tRuTh.ThIs OfFiCeR HaS A VeRy ClEaN HiStOrY(AnD OnCe AgAiN Im GoInG ToO LeT yOu All KnOw)
***** OfFiCeR nElSoN TuAtAgAlOa Is A iNnOcEnT MaNn***** If YoU Do A LiL Bit MoRe ReSeArChIng YoUrSeLf YoU WiLL rEaLiZe ThAt As WeLL!

So oFfIcEr nElSoN: iF yOuR rEaDiNg tHiS mY pRayErS aRe wItH yoU aNd YoUr fAmIly.yOuR iNnOcEnCe wILL bE pRoVeN sOoN.dOnT wOrRy.

mR aNd mRs fLeXzEn

Anonymous said...

hahahahaha Even the headline says "BUT VICTIM MAY HAVE BEEN DRUNK." What kind of bopperdoodle skallywag would believe this jabberjibberish!!?!?

What enrages me, is the fact that the officer is placed on leave without pay for an ACCUSATION! no proof, no evidence, NOTHING.

When he is proven innocent, this so-called "victim" better ask somebody!! As good of a person this officer is, I know for a fact he keeps his accuser in his prayers. Although I know he will forgive her, he should sue her first ... for a few million. Then he should sue the police department ... for another few million.

This lady just needs attention. So if the district is so concerned about running to her aid, they should just introduce her to a shrink. If not, I will introduce her to my fist for making such horrible accusations about a wonderful man.

Anonymous said...

It's standard procedure for an accused officer to be on Administrative Leave and without pay. And you can say most of his fellow officers won't have anything to do with him during his ordeal. If these accusations are proven false, regardless sober or under the influence. You should be held respondsible for your actions. "Innocent until proven Guilty"

BIG MAMA said...

It is so easy to past judgement on someone you don't know! People have the tenancy to judge others on what they hear and read...Well let me share a little bit of information that you probably hear from those who know this wonderful officer that is being wrongfully accused of all these crazy things..You see the media just states what they think will get them ratings or lots of exposure...See the truth is I know without a doubt that OFFICER.TUATAGALOA is "INNOCENT" of all charges..This MAN/OFFICER is a wonderful MAN..He's a wonderful FATHER and Husband..He's loving towards all those who are around him..He comes from an amazing family, who LOVES him to death..He sets a good example and is a role model to the younger generation that is coming up in life.....He's hard working and takes a lot pride in all that he does....He awesome to be around and has the up most respect for those around......He's just an amazing person period...There is so much good about this man that I could go on and on...But that's just a little bit about dis "INNOCENT" OFFICER that the MEDIA has already convicted in their HEADLINE as a "BAD COP"..These are the things the MEDIA forgets or doesn't even bother to put out there for the all to see or read..Well folks there are so many emotions and thoughts running through my head like...This man has put his life on the line to help keep the people in the community safe and secure..He leaves his family everyday to go to work not knowing what the day has in stored for him..He does job pretty damn good I'm sure..And yet he gets left out to dry by himself? Where is his fellow OFFICERS? Is this how it works? You leave one of your own out there to fend for himself? It's funny on how everyday you fellow officers leave your families home and unite at work with your second family..But I guess my impression that all the women and men on force work together as one that's what makes any unit strong..I thought in time whether your a rookie or a Sgt. you all stand by your own and show support for any fellow officer.... But I guess I was wrong.....Because not once have I read a statement or heard anyone from the department show any concern nor any support for one of your own...And that is really disappointing to me and many others that have been keeping up with this outrageous story..Its sad to see that many people are passing judgement already and the MEDIA is making headlines before any facts were found...I mean people HOLLAH at ya girl if you feel this...The headlines say "BAD COP,No Donuts: West Jordan, UTAH COP NELSON TUATAGALOA Arrested and charged with FORCIBLE SEXUAL ABUSE,BUT VICTIM MAY HAVE BEEN DRUNK...Its funny how the headlines start off with "BAD COP" and than ends with VICTIM MAY HAVE BEEN DRUNK"....WTF...Than it gets really confusing because in the reports that I have been reading,have stated that this woman was apparently mentally disturbed and possibly "SUICIDAL"...I mean come on now this woman was screaming for attention...And since her "SUICIDAL" thoughts or actions only landed her attention from the nurses at the near by hospital..So hey what a great opportunity for her to get attention,sympathy or comfort..So her crazy a** decides to falsely accuse an officer of sexual abuse...OHHH....Let me just add that officer she is accusing of all these crazy things was the one who walked her into the hospital...After he so called SEXUALLY ABUSED her mentally unstable a**...That makes no freaking sense at all...Who in their right mind would do that after doing all that was so called done to this so called VICTIM? No one that's who! Makes me so upset because a this mentally unstable woman who the MEDIA puts out there as C.M. is putting not only OFFICER.TUATAGALOA through a whole lot..But also his FAMILY,FRIENDS and all his LOVED ones through this hardship and pain...For what "ATTENTION"?...You know she is plain a** crazy...Well now I ask myself the question that many have been asking? Should this woman be held responsible or punished for making a false claim? My answer is: HELL YEAH SHE SHOULD BE PUNISHED AND HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR ALL THE DAMAGE SHE HAS CAUSED THIS OFFICER AND HIS FAMILY...I HOPE THIS WOMAN WAKES UP EVERYDAY FOR THE REST OF HER LIFE FEELING THE SHAME AND HEARTACHE THAT SHE IS PUTTING AN INNOCENT MAN THROUGH RIGHT NOW! I don't care if at the time or if she still Claims to be mentally disturbed,unstable or plain a** CRAZY, she can call what she wants there is nothing she can say that will ever justify what she has done!

My thoughts,LOVE and prayers go out to OFFICER.TUATAGALOA and his family...I pray that this all ends soon for OFFICER.TUATAGALOA.... My MAMA and I know that you will come out on top and that our HEAVENLY FATHER will keep you and your FAMILY in his sight at all times...Keep this in mind "Officer.T if your reading this? OUR HEAVENLY NEVER GIVES US MORE THAN WE CAN BARE...He's always there...Be strong and All OUR LOVE,THOUGHTS and PRAYERS are with you and for you..You have a our 100% support...And soon the truth will come to light "INNOCENT" NO DOUBT ABOUT IT...808

atrny said...

The police have many safe guards in place for false accusations as do the county attorneys office. These agency’s do not act on just a persons statement. There must be much more hard evidence if he is innocent why didn’t he or his attorney say so why are the only ones that that are saying he is innocent is neighbors why isn’t his attorney proclaiming his innocence? Why aren’t they saying anything about the missing time? Where is his union rep? I will tell you why. He is guilty. You may think you know someone until tragedies like this happen, how many times have bishops scout masters or priests been found guilty much to the shock of there family friends neighbors and church leaders. Sad to say we can not tell what is in a persons heart. If we could there would be no Ted Bundys or Gary Ridgeways.

The Grateful One said...

I am and shall be forever grateful to my Father in Heaven, in guiding me through my life with the Gift of the Holy Ghost in helping me with the decisions I had made as a young woman of my acquaitance with Mr. Tuatagaloa. Which leads me to also be grateful to write and say that, "I am grateful to NOT be in the shoes of Mrs. Carmen Tuatagaloa."

However, it deeply saddens me to read and hear of the tragic news and accusations made on behalf of the afore mentioned, Mr. Tuatagaloa. My heart cannot help but feel great sorrow for his wife and children for the tragedy that has occurred in their family and the trials they must be going through during this time.
It is hard for me to believe of this sickening news of Mr. Tuatagaloa, because he will always be considered as a comrade whose comradeship from the past, has taught me a great deal about life and what NOT to seek for in an eternal companion with my acquaintance with him. With that being said, it is also NOT hard for me to believe of the news, although, I would still like to give hime the benefit of the doubt.

I had known Mr. Tuatagaloa for many years. He was a good and kind young man to those whom he come in contact with. He married well, a woman, as far as I could have seen then, of a good family and of good standing, who accepted him for who he was, along with the baggage that he carried and in the House of the Lord. I also knew Mr. Tuatagaloa to have been a man of a scandalous affair back in his YSA years - hence, the "baggage", I afore mentioned- and having been involved in it myself, but NEVER in a lifetime would I have ever thought of him, nor any young man for that matter, that I have been acquainted with, to have gone beyond the depths of lowliness as he has gone, [if they be true].
"Behold...Ye have broken the [heart] of your tender [wife], and lost the confidence of your children because of your bad [example] before them; and the sobbings of their hearts ascend up to God against you..." (Jacob 2:35)

As I afore mentioned, my heart goes out to the children and Mrs. Tuatagaloa, during this devastating time. However, I still have great hopes for Mr. Tuatagaloa. Whatever the verdict may be of his actions toward the offended young lady, that he will serve his time and serve it well with a broken heart and with Godly sorrow for his behavior. Seeking forgiveness from the young lady, whom he has offended, his wife and children, whose hearts he may have broken, and from the Savior, Jesus Christ himself, through the gift of repentance and the atoning sacrifice of the Savior, made on our behalf.
"O remember, remember, my [son], the words which king Benjamin spake unto his people; yeah remember that there is no other way nor means whereby man can be saved, only through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ, who shall come; yea, remember that he cometh to redeem the world" (Helaman 5:9)
"For, behold, the Lord your Redeemer suffered death in the flesh; wherefore he suffered the pain of all men, that all men might repent and come unto him." (Doctrine & Covenants 18:11)

We are all not perfect, things such as these happens to the best of us. The power of the advesary is real, and is something not to be flirted or tampered with. Satan and his servants are constantly working and will continue to get the best of us, if we are not prepared and wearing the whole armor of God. Let this example and the example of many others, through life and the scriptures, be a lesson to us all, to heed to the counsels of the prophets of old and living, that we may go through out life being fully armored with the armor of God to fight off the advesaries of Satan.

I wish Mr. Tuatagaloa all the best in his trial, and close my statement with this scripture not only to him, but to his family as a message of comfort and peace.
"My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes. Thy friends [and family] do stand by thee, and they shall hail thee again with warm hearts and friendly hands." (Doctrine & Covenants 121: 7-9)

As for the young lady, if her accusations be false toward Mr. Tuatagaloa, it is my hope as well, that she will be dealt with accordingly for the heartache she has caused for the Tuatagaloa family.

May justice be served for both parties involved.

God Speed,
The Grateful One
[ ] added.

Be Real said...

AMEN to Grateful One...If you read the current news, he's pretty much incriminated himself "I don't know what I was thinking"?.... Yes, support him cause he's your family, but please don't come on here and put the sole blame on a women who was seeking help and thought that she could trust him, as a police officer.

Humble Soul said...

What an unfortunate situation- My prayers are w/Nelson and his family, and hope that his admittal to his accusers accusations will be the 1st step to wanting a true Repentance process- My prayers are w /his Wife Children and Family, for they will be the one's who will continue to hurt w/him for years to come- I do not place judgement on him or anyone else, for no one is perfect and we are all here for 1 reason only- If not, there would be no Atonement, the 1 reason Jesus Christ came to earth and suffered for ALL OF OUR SINS- Including Nelson's- In that short time Jesus roamed amongst the Humble Lowly souls on Earth, The Sinners- Not the Priest Nor Clergy men. I feel at time's memebers of the Great Gospel snubb those who face trials such as this and should remember that we all have our imperfections though they all vary in severity. Jesus sufferred still...no matter how Big or Small the sin- May God Be w/his wife, mother and children during this tough time...and may Nelson continue to humble himself and find peace w/God and himself:)

Truely-
Humble Soul

Anonymous said...

What was the verdict of this case?

Anonymous said...

ive known this dude since junior highschool...sad to say, i wouldnt put it past him

Anonymous said...

Last I heard, he's in jail because other women had come forward and filed complaints as well.

Anonymous said...

This man is a lying, cheating, bastard! I met him on a call out to my grandmother who was also drunk and suicidal. Instead of doing his JOB, he spent his time hitting on me. I must admit I was attracted to him and gave him my phone #. He told me he wasn't married and that he tried to spend as much time as he could with his children by volunteering with the local football team his son was on. He always called on a blocked number and for some reason was always too busy to meet up with me. Hmmm. I think if a man can lie about his whole "other" life then he is capable of so much more! I truly feel sorry for his family!!