A Pima County Superior Court judge has ruled that a former Marana police officer will not serve prison time for a computer tampering conviction.
On Friday, Aug. 20, Judge Jose Robles sentenced Calvin Ingram to 24 months of probation and a suspended prison sentence.
The judge handed down the sentence after an emotional appeal for leniency from defense attorney Michael Storie.
"Every day he lives with this scorn," Storie said.
Storie said Ingram had been the subject of media and public scrutiny for nearly a year, since his September 2009 indictment on 25 counts of computer tampering, one count of trafficking in identities and one count of aggravated taking of an identity.
"He suffered horrendous consequences," Storie said. "To say he deserves jail time on top of it is almost obscene."
Prosecuting attorney Michael Jette with the Arizona Attorney General's office had sought prison time, saying Ingram committed crimes for personal benefit and violated the public trust.
"Above all, that badge, when we look at a law enforcement officer, says he's going to protect my safety," Jette said, adding that Ingram had "destroyed" the public trust placed in him.
Ingram was accused of searching databases that hold sensitive information such as driver's license numbers, home addresses and criminal histories for non-law enforcement purposes. The original indictment showed that Ingram had searched for information on dozens of people, including colleagues and public figures like local television news personality Heather Rowe and former Arizona softball star Taryne Mowatt.
Most of the charges were dropped after Ingram agreed to plead guilty to four of the counts.
Jordan Richter, a victim of Ingram's computer tampering, was allowed to speak at the sentencing hearing. He asked that the judge give Ingram a term of imprisonment.
"Mr. Ingram took advantage of his position as a peace officer," Richter said.
Richter said Ingram used the information he searched to damage his reputation with a girlfriend. Richter said Ingram was attempting to court the woman, and told her Richter was married and had kids, which was not true.
"Mr. Ingram used his position for his personal gain and personal pleasure," Richter said.
Richter's relationship with the woman ended as a result of the incident, he told The Explorer.
Ingram told the judge that he regretted what he did and apologized. He denied any nefarious intent.
"Nothing I did was for personal gain," Ingram said.
He said he was ready to move on with his life in a different career after voluntarily relinquishing his peace officer certification in the state of Arizona. Ingram can never again work in law enforcement in Arizona.
His attorney Storie downplayed Ingram's crimes, saying that officers all over Arizona conduct similar unauthorized computer searches without the harsh consequences.
"What has happened over the past years is, in the past two years, they have been indicted," Storie said.
In the past, Storie said, officers were never charged criminally for computer tampering. Instead, police department meted out discipline internally.
Storie also downplayed any damages Ingram may have caused.
"I don't believe there are victims in this case," he said.
Ingram's probation was scheduled to start immediately. Robles cautioned Ingram that if he violates the terms of his probation, he could face as much as two years in prison.