Cass Co. lieutenant written up for sending nude text to deputy

Published: Oct. 3, 2022 at 12:19 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - A 2021 internal investigation has come to light involving a nude photo accidentally sent by a lieutenant with the Cass County Sheriff’s Office to a fellow deputy.

Lt. Tommy Ray received a letter of reprimand from Cass County Sheriff Jesse Jahner after official documents reveal Ray sent a nude photo of himself to another deputy on his county-issued cell phone. The text was sent on Sept. 5, 2021. Ray stated the text was meant for his wife. Ray apologized to the deputy via text shortly after sending the photo.

Documents state Ray told officials he had recently spoken with the deputy prior to sending the photo, and believed that is why he accidentally sent the photo to them. Ray also admitted to using his county-issued cell phone to send similar photos to his wife in the past, which Ray’s wife also confirmed.

The internal investigation by Cass County Sheriff officials, as well as a review by the Cass County State’s Attorney’s Office, found Ray did not violate any criminal or federal laws, but did violate the county’s police on electronic communication use. Documents state the deputy told officials there had never been other inappropriate instances or red flags in their time working with Ray over the course of five years, and officials say since the incident, Ray and the deputy have continued to work together without conflict or further issues.

“Lt. Ray used very bad judgement and made a very bad decision by using his department-issued cell phone in this manner. I am extremely disappointed with his behavior. He is supposed to set the example and be a leader for others and that was not the case here,” Sheriff Jesse Jahner wrote in a 2021 memorandum on the incident.

The investigation comes to light after an individual raised concerns on the lack of reporting of the incident and sent several official documents to multiple local reporters and news outlets.