Prince George County MD Jan 18 2017 A Prince George's County, Md. police officer accused of taking upskirt photos of "unsuspecting women" pleaded guilty Tuesday morning to misconduct in office and other related charges in connection with the case.
County police officer James Sims pleaded guilty to four counts of visual surveillance with prurient interest and two counts of misconduct in office for the images he captured, some taken while he was on duty conducting traffic stops, according to the Prince George's County state's attorney's office.
The investigation into Sims began in June when an off-duty officer at a Sports Authority in Bowie, Md. reported that Sims had taken an upskirt photo of her, prosecutors said. She had confronted him about the images and chased him into the parking lot, where she saw him get into a marked county police cruiser, prosecutors said.
Police began investigating the woman's complaint and discovered additional incidents that occurred between May and June 2015.
Sims, who has been with the department since 2010, was immediately suspended after authorities received a complaint about him.
Police took the case to the Prince George's County state's attorney's office for criminal review last year and a grand jury handed down charges against Sims.
Sims faces up to a year in prison for the visual surveillance charges. The charges for misconduct in office are open-ended as long as they don't "exceed anything cruel and unusual based on the crime committed," prosecutors said.
Sims is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 17.