Brian Bunton, an Oakland police officer accused of tipping off Jasmine Abuslin to a coming prostitution sting in exchange for sex, was one of three officers charged last week by Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley in the ongoing Oakland Police Scandal. Charges against him are felony conspiracy to obstruct justice and misdemeanor engaging in prostitution. He was booked into Santa Rita Jail on Tuesday, the Alameda County Sheriff's Office tells the East Bay Times, and was expected to be out on bail of $12,500. Authorities released his mugshot last night, the first of any officer in the wide-reaching scandal involving Abuslin, the sexually exploited teenage daughter of an Oakland police dispatcher who was previously known to the public by her chosen name Celeste Guap, which her lawyer insists should not be used.
Bunton is one of the five law enforcement officials charged in the matter so far: others are retired Oakland Sgt. LeRoy Johnson, Oakland Officer Giovanni LoVerde, resigned Contra Costa County Deputy Ricardo Perez, and resigned Livermore Officer Daniel Black. Two more, Oakland officers Warit Uttapa and Terryl Smith, are still expected to be charged.
According charging documents, “On March 7th 2016, Officer Brian Bunton contacted Jasmine (Abuslin) via text and encouraged and promoted acts of prostitution by asking her if she ‘made all her money’ and then informed her that she ‘needed a better manager’ when Ms. [Abuslin] stated she did not make as much money as she wanted.” That tip off text message first surfaced in June, drawing scrutiny.
Appearing with Bunton in court, his lawyer said that “Officer Bunton did cooperate in the investigation. He gave a full statement. In that statement, he expressed remorse and took responsibility for some of the actions that they were discussing, and we believe the facts are going to support those statements that he made.” Bunton has been an officer for two years. In her text messages, Abuslin purportedly referred to him as "Superman." He is married with children.
All previous coverage of the Celeste Guap/Jasmine Abuslin scandal on SFist.