An attorney for 37-year-old Richard Hastings III, the San Francisco officer arrested last week on suspicion of molesting a 15-year-old boy, claims the relationship was consensual and that his client "was told and reasonably believed" the boy was of age.
Hastings' arrest last week in Concord was the result of several weeks worth of investigation into the alleged relationship between the police officer and the teen boy. A Concord PD Lieutenant arrested Hastings in his car around 8:15 a.m. on Monument Boulevard near Hastings' home in Concord. The suspect was booked on suspicion of lewd and lascivious acts with a child, sodomy with a child and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. No charges have been filed yet as Contra Costa County prosecutors sent the case back to the Concord PD for more investigation.
According to SFPD, Hastings has been with the department since 2001. All of the alleged crimes happened while Hastings was off duty, but he has been suspended without pay since his arrest. Hastings made bail and was released on the 21st and is currently the subject of an internal SFPD investigation.
Complicating the case is Hastings' involvement in the 2011 death of Kenneth Harding, a parolee from Washington State who was shot and killed while running from SFPD officers in the Bayview. At the time SFPD claimed Harding accidentally shot himself in the neck. Harding's mother Denika Chatman later sued the SFPD claiming her son "was killed needlessly." Officer Hastings has been named in Chatman's pending federal lawsuit.