Former SJ cop D’Arrigo pleads no contest to sex crimes

Media crews try to get a comment from San Jose police officer

The former San Jose police officer from Gilroy charged with illegal sexual contact with two teen boys pleaded “no contest” to two counts Thursday afternoon.

Patrick D’Arrigo, dressed in a navy blue suit and dark purple paisley tie entered the courtroom at the South County Courthouse in Morgan Hill with his attorney, Brian Madden silently, his head down.

D’Arrigo,44, was originally charged with three counts of unlawful sexual contact with minors which allegedly occurred between December 2008 to March 2009. He pleaded no contest to count one, a felony violation of lewd or lascivious acts on a child age 14 or 15.

“Do you understand that for the purposes of these proceedings, pleas of ‘no contest’ is exactly the same as guilty?,” asked Judge Kenneth Shapero.

“Yes your honor,” said D’Arrigo, a former patrol veteran for the San Jose Police Department and former campus officer at a San Jose high school.

Count one requires that D’Arrigo fulfill a lifetime registration as a sex offender.  

D’Arrigo also pleaded no contest to count three, a felony violation for oral copulation of a minor, the alleged victim was referred to as “Marc Doe” in court.

Deputy District Attorney Stuart Scott, who is prosecuting D’Arrigo’s case, said count two will be filed for dismissal since it’s a lesser related offense to count one.

“You can get the same time for it, it’s essentially the same thing,” he explained. Count three however, is a separate act and a separate victim.

A plea of “no contest” means the judge can sentence up to the maximum prison time, which is three years and eight months of state prison, Scott said.

“Ultimately, when the defendant decides to plea with all the acts he’s been charged with, there’s nothing further the prosecution can do besides argue for significant sentencing,” said Scott.  

Following Thursday’s plea, Judge Shapero set the sentencing date for April 30 at the South County Courthouse.

According to court records, D’Arrigo met a teenage boy through Craigslist in December 2008 who later introduced D’Arrigo to the alleged victims, a 15-year-old boy and 17-year-old boy.

D’Arrigo allegedly bought gifts for the teen boys, including a $300 iPod in 2008. And it was between December 2008 and January 2009 that he had several parties at his home at 883 Alder St. in Gilroy where he provided alcohol to four teen boys, and allegedly engaged in sexual activities with two of the teens.

The teens testified they had conversations with D’Arrigo about their ages, including where they went to school and what grades they were in.

“He knew,” testified one of the alleged victims, referred to only as “Marc Doe,” during a secret Aug. 30 grand jury hearing that lasted more than two hours and cemented D’Arrigo’s indictment, arrest and raid on his home by police the following day. When asked if D’Arrigo also knew the boys’ ages, Marc Doe testified, “Yeah. Due to his profession, you know, he should know.”

The booze and sex episodes descended from a friendship sparked on an ad in the fall of 2008, when D’Arrigo responded to a posting in the male-seeking-male category authored by a 16-year-old Gilroy boy, according to the boy’s testimony.

The four teen boys testified in August in front of a secret grand jury and an indictment was handed out Aug. 31, 2011. D’Arrigo was arrested on a $100,000 warrant Aug. 31, 2011 by the San Jose Police Department, the same day his home in Gilroy was searched by the Gilroy Police Department. He posted bail the following morning.

On Sept. 2, 2011 D’Arrigo originally pleaded “not guilty” to all three counts.

D’Arrigo’s last day with the San Jose Police Department was Feb 28. 2012 according to Tom Norris, the City of San Jose public records manager. He served as a sworn officer for 17 years. Norris said D’Arrigo was not listed as a retiree in the city’s retirement center and is not drawing any benefits.

In 2008, a criminal grand jury declined to indict D’Arrigo and SJPD Sgt. Will Manion following accusations they attempted to cover up a DUI incident involving Sandra Woodall, an investigator with the DA’s office. D’Arrigo and Manion were fired in January 2010 for their roles in the investigation, but were reinstated following arbitration.

D’Arrigo had been on administrative leave since he was arrested in Aug. 31, 2011 at the SJPD. While on leave, he continued to receive paychecks toward his $97,198 base salary.

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