A former San Diego police sergeant who harassed his ex-girlfriend for months pleaded guilty Thursday to a felony stalking charge.
Mariusz Czas, 43, who worked for the San Diego Police Department for 18 years and was assigned to the Traffic Division when the allegations against him came to light, was arrested earlier this year on suspicion of stalking the woman, 26.
According to court records, the relationship between Czas and the victim ended in May 2020. She was granted a temporary restraining order against him later that year.
Following the break-up, she went to his apartment to retrieve some of her belongings. After she left, Czas conducted a traffic stop on her and asked her why she was leaving him, according to court documents.
He later arrived at her mother’s home unannounced and sent her a text message asking about her daughter. Court documents state that it is unknown how he obtained the mother’s address or phone number.
He also showed up at his ex-girlfriend’s workplace and confronted her about their relationship.
“She believed Sgt. Czas was following her or tracking her,” court documents state. “(She) changed her phone number so Sgt. Czas would not contact her. Sgt. Czas somehow located the new phone number.”
In the following month, she began receiving text messages from unknown numbers demanding money and threatening to post nude photos of her on porn websites or send the pictures to her contacts, according to court papers.
She stated she believed Czas was behind those texts, though he claimed to her that he was a victim of the same “hacker” and would contact investigators to look into it.
A review of Czas’ searches on police databases showed that he conducted records checks to obtain the ex-girlfriend’s license plate number, her new boyfriend’s address and other personal information, according to court documents.
The ex-girlfriend stated she was “so fearful” of Czas that she and her current boyfriend planned to move out of state.
Czas was relieved of his department duties last year after the woman reported the allegations to police. He worked in a desk assignment that required no contact with the public until his arrest in February of this year, according to San Diego police Lt. Shawn Takeuchi.
In June, following his arraignment, SDPD Lt. Adam Sharki said Czas had not been a member of the department “for some time now.”
Czas is slated to be sentenced on Nov. 18.
– City News Service