NOVATO, Calif. --A Novato police officer charged with receiving obscene material from a minor in Texas is scheduled to be arraigned in Sonoma County Superior Court later this month.
Michael Manuel Ramirez, 35, of Rohnert Park, was charged on Dec. 29 with felony possession or control of obscene matter depicting a minor under 18 engaging in a sex act, felony use of a minor under 18 to assist or perform sexual conduct and misdemeanor annoying or molesting a minor under age 18.
Ramirez, a member of the Novato Police Department for six years, allegedly received messages containing pornographic images by smartphone from a Texas girl under age 13 for several months in early 2015, Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety Sgt. Jeff Justice said.
Texas authorities, who pretended to be the girl after the girl's mother discovered the images, traced the recipient to a Rohnert Park internet address, Justice said.
Rohnert Park detectives then were contacted in April by a computer crimes task force in Texas, Justice said.
Rohnert Park investigators took Ramirez's computer and phone at his residence in May and continued the investigation before presenting the case to the Sonoma County District Attorney's Office, Justice said.
Ramirez appeared in court on Dec. 29 and posted $30,000 bail on Dec. 30. He is on paid administrative leave and his next court date is Jan. 29.