KUSA - A University of Colorado police dispatcher says that one campus police sergeant made her feel “trapped,” and “violated,” according to the arrest affidavit to support stalking charges against CUPD Sgt. Michael Dodson.
“He continued coming to see me every day when I was alone in dispatch and he continued to hug me,” reads the victim’s statement, in part.
Dodson, 59, has worked for CUPD since 1996. He was charged on Wednesday with one count of felony stalking. The investigation is being handled by the Longmont Police Department to avoid a conflict of interest.
The victim’s statement outlines an increasingly harassing relationship between herself and Dodson. What she described as starting out as a sort-of mentorship turned uncomfortable and ultimately, the victim told a detective that she “has never felt that violated before in her life.”
The 82-page arrest affidavit includes the victim’s written statement and the detectives’ notes from interviews with both the victim and Dodson. The victim described a pattern of behavior that she did not feel was appropriate.
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“For the most part, I chalked his actions up to a little creepiness but nothing more,” the victim wrote. “I did not reciprocate Dodson’s outreach of affection, but I did not stop it either. I did not know how to tell him that I didn’t feel a connection like he did or that I was not interested in anything deeper than a work-appropriate friendship.”
The victim lives on campus in student housing with her husband and child. She was a student at the university but was not taking classes this semester.
As a dispatcher, she often worked overnights and was frequently alone. Her statement said that Dodson’s behaviors toward her escalated throughout February when she was increasingly working solo while answering 911 calls.
On Feb. 1, the victim said that Dodson invited her into his office during her overnight shift and told her that he felt a “strange ‘vibe’ between the two of us that made him feel ‘nervous and giddy.’”
From that point, the two of them exchanged some text messages and emails through private – not work related – email accounts and cell phones. They also had private conversations at work, often talking about personal issues including the victim’s finances.
Dodson admitted to police detectives that he regularly visited the victim in the dispatch office. He stated that she was alone when he went to visit her, about “twice or three times a week,” according to the arrest warrant.
“He also waited for me by my car and called me on the bat-phone any time I was at work and he wasn’t,” the victim wrote.
The bat-phone is a non-recorded line to the dispatch office.
The victim’s statement includes numerous episodes that made her feel anxious when alone and embarrassed when in front of other staffers.
“He also insists on giving me a hug every time that I see him, usually twice. He lingers much longer than is comfortable with every hug,” she wrote.
The victim wrote that Dodson once told her that “sex is something that is on his mind all the time.” She stated that he told her he is “attracted to me in an extremely strong way” and that he is “sexually attracted” to the victim.
Dodson told detectives that he did discuss some of those personal issues with the victim, according to the arrest affidavit, but denied that he told her he was sexually attracted to her.
The conversations turned to very personal subjects, including her mental health.
“Dodson and I discussed mental health to the point that I shared with him that during my teenage years I was very depressed and I self-harmed,” she wrote in her statement.
In one instance, the victim described Dodson touching her without her permission.
“I did not know how to stand up for myself or say that I was uncomfortable with that,” she said. She had scars on her arms where she once cut herself. “Once he saw my scars he asked if he could touch them. He asked after he had already touched them, so I didn’t really get a chance to speak up,” she wrote.
A domestic violence unit detective also questioned the victim about this experience.
“She said she never wanted anyone to touch her scars and when Dodson did so, it was ‘violating,’” according to the arrest affidavit.
Dodson did not dispute this interaction.
“Um, I touched her arms a couple times,” he told a detective, according to the affidavit. He also agreed that she “tensed up when I touched it (her arm).”
Dodson also told detectives he was surprised and hurt by the allegations and that the hugging never would have happened if he knew it made her uncomfortable. Dodson turned himself in and had his first appearance in court Thursday afternoon. The judge set a $25,000 personal recognizance bond.
His next court appearance is June 6 and he is currently on administrative leave from the CU Police Department.
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