A 21-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department was arrested Saturday after it was revealed he was having an affair with a student at a school where he worked as a part-time security guard. Officer Eugene Ciardullo, 51, was charged with one felony count of criminal sexual assault of a victim between 13 and 17 years old. It is the latest bad news for the Chicago PD, who are reeling from allegations of police overreach, misconduct and a soaring murder rate.
Ciardullo met the girl when she was 16 and a student at the Mount Greenwood, Chicago public school. He was working part-time as a security guard at the school when he began exchanging text messages with her. They kept in touch over summer break and began a sexual relationship when she turned 17. According to The Chicago Tribune, assistant state's attorney Ed Murillo said at Ciardullo’s bail hearing: "The defendant and the victim discussed their age difference and defendant told the victim he could lose his job and go to jail if they were caught. The defendant told the victim to tell people who asked about their relationship that they were just good friends."
From February through December 2016, Ciardullo met the girl for sex in an empty parking lot and various motel rooms.
The affair came to light after a relative of the girl’s saw text messages on her phone. The relative confronted Ciardullo, who admitted to the affair. Cook County Judge Maria Kuriakos Ciesil set Ciardullo’s bail at $75,000 and ordered him to surrender his passport and any firearms he owns. He is also forbidden from using the internet and having any contact with people younger than 18, including his victim. Ciardullo has seven children and served in the Marine Corps for four years. In his career as a policeman, Ciardullo has had 40 complaints lodged against him on everything from minor personnel violations to excessive force - but has only been found guilty of wrongdoing on two occasions.
[Photo: Chicago Police Department]