CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police (CMPD) officer was charged with sexual battery after an alleged incident that occurred over the weekend at an uptown Charlotte club.
Officer Michael Santiago is accused of touching a woman inappropriately at a club on 5th Street in uptown Charlotte around 1:30 a.m. Sunday. Santiago was off duty at the time of the alleged incident.
“I am disappointed by this incident," said Chief Kerr Putney, in a statement sent to the media by CMPD. "As officers, we uphold the law and absolutely will not tolerate one of our own violating it. Officers who disregard the law will be held accountable for their actions.”
After Santiago was accused, the case was taken to the magistrate’s office. On Tuesday, a criminal summons was issued and Santiago was charged with sexual battery, which is a misdemeanor.
CMPD officials made the announcement during a press conference Tuesday afternoon.
Santiago, a patrol officer in the Central Division, was hired by the department in 2016. He has been placed on unpaid leave pending the results of the investigation.
Police are asking anyone who may have been at the club, which has not yet been named, to call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600 if they witnessed anything related to the case.
As is standard procedure when an officer is accused of a crime, a separate internal investigation is being conducted to determine whether Santiago violated any CMPD policies or procedures.