**Related Video Above: Watch a previous report on this investigation.**
ROCKY RIVER, Ohio (WJW) — The FOX 8 I-Team has found no charges will be filed against a Rocky River police officer for his relationship with a female student while serving as a school resource officer at the high school.
Westlake Law Director Michael P. Maloney served as special prosecutor and conducted an investigation revolving around Rocky River Police Officer Michael Bernhardt.
Specifically, an allegation of “inappropriate communications and possibly improper conduct with a Rocky River High School student.”
Maloney concluded “there are not sufficient grounds for criminal charges.”
However, Malony left open the possibility of more investigation. He wrote to Rocky River Law Director Michael O’Shea, “If I develop probable cause to support a search warrant, I will have Bernhardt’s mobile phone seized and forensically searched. That is a pending decision.”
The special prosecutor’s report shows the investigation began when the officer’s wife went to the school district superintendent about “suspect calls she found on Officer Bernhardt’s phone.”
The final report shows the officer and a teen girl, a senior, spoke many times on the phone, and, “A number of these calls were lengthy and late at night.”
The investigation also found messages “personal in nature and clearly unrelated to school business.” Additionally, Bernhardt messaged the girl “a dozen or more times a day” during the second half of her senior year.
In fact, the investigation revealed the officer sent “many messages … sexual in nature including specific requests for sex.” Most of those messages, according to the report, occurred after the student turned 18. And, the report indicates the student and the officer sent photos of themselves to each other, but no nude pictures.
The special prosecutor also found the officer and the student “met at various secretive locations to be alone together.”
That student also indicated “no sexual conduct beyond touching and kissing took place.” And, “all of these meetings were after (the student) turned 18 …”
In an effort to fully review the relationship, the special prosecutor also had the teen girl interviewed by a local female police officer.
The special prosecutor’s report shows he interviewed the teen, her parents, the police chief, the superintendent, and the officer’s wife, but he never heard back from an attorney to arrange an interview with the officer.
Michael Maloney wrote, he considered many different felony charges, but this case never fit what’s required either due to the level of conduct or specific circumstances.
Finally, the report shows, last month, the officer approached the teen at the Crocker Park complex in Westlake even though he’d been warned not to have contact with her.
Maloney added, if it happens again, “I believe Bernhardt should be charged with Menacing by Stalking, or similar offense.”
In August, the officer had been placed on paid leave while under investigation and Rocky River Police confirm he is still on leave.
Adam Chaloupka, general counsel with the OPBA, said, “What bothers the union is we’ve asked repeatedly for the investigative files. We’ve asked for interviews, photos, messages…” But, he said Rocky River has not turned over all of the files. He added, “We can’t make a full determination and accurately assess how to defend our member.”