Several officials accused of ‘inappropriate relationships’ resign after pregnant woman suicide

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Last year was a suburb of Massachusetts shocked by the death of Sandra Birchmore, a 23-Year-The aged Stoughton native, who was pregnant when she committed suicide — even more so after rumors circulated about her relationship with three cops who quit the department a year later. Now a 60-page one report from the police station Department of Internal Affairs has confirmed officers had “inappropriate relationships” with Birchmore for years before her death, and one of them may have been the father of her child.

“These men have broken their oath and are unfit to serve as police officers,” Police Commissioner Donna McNamara told reporters at a news conference announcing the findings. “I stand before you today as an officer who is heartbroken and outraged by what has happened and who promises that this chapter in Stoughton Police Department and the City of Stoughton is over.”

Matthew Farwell; his twin brother William Farwell; and her supervisor, Robert Devine (all, which McNamara is currently attempting to decertify) who engaged in “unbecoming” misconduct against Birchmore, a vulnerable young woman who relatives said local law enforcement idolized from a young age. McNamara added that two other men – another officer and a military recruiter, both were not named—also involved in “inappropriate relationships‘ with Birchmore and that Devine also allegedly had ‘inappropriate contact’ with a student in another youth program he ran.

McNamara revealed to reporters that hundreds of digital messages – including explicit exchanges – between Matthew Farwell and Birchmore were discovered during an internal investigation and date back years. According to people near Birchmore who spoke to him Boston globe, she had told them that Farwell was the father of her child. Although her death certificate confirms that she was pregnant, she does not specify who the father was.

“She always wanted to be a mother,” recalls a family member. “She had this child. Why would she kill herself?”

But those who knew her best said that ever since she was a child, she wanted to work in law enforcement, so much that it was at a youth program run by the Stoughton Police Department that Birchmore – who never knew her father and lost her mother, grandmother and aunt over a three-year period – met the then 27-year-old.Year-Old Farwell and started a relationship with him. she was 13. Farwell’s friends said so globe that he started having sex with the girl when she was 15 – statutory rape under Massachusetts law.

Just two days after Birchmore was found dead, Farwell confirmed he had Sex with Birchmore in 2020, but told investigators the sexual relationship ended in October. The Internal Affairs Report noted that Farwell was one of the last known people to see Birchmore alive. In an interview with investigators, he mentioned that he had visited Birchmore’s apartment shortly before her death, but that he intended to end their relationship and all communications. He recalled Birchmore telling him the baby was due in September 2021 and time wise he couldn’t have been the father.

Meanwhile, his brother and Devine – who recently retired – were also caught up in Birchmore’s inappropriateness. Devine has insisted he had no contact or “personal relationship” with the woman, but investigators found he messaged her on Facebook and broke the code to meet her at a restaurant while he was in service in December 2020. It is worth noting that: In 2016, Devine was demoted after an internal investigation found he had directed a subordinate to investigate a woman who was molesting him and attempted to lie to investigators about it. According to a report on this investigation, tThe woman and Devine had an extramarital affair some time ago.

Farwell’s brother, William—who also engaged in “communication” with Birchmore –was found to have shown incompetence and failed in his “attention and devotion to duty”. He also ran his and Birchmore’s names through law enforcement databases, breaking guidelines by forcing the woman to text. It is not known yet how as these details have been redacted from the report. He has not commented publicly on the matter.

“Miss Birchmore was a vulnerable person who had one constant in her life from childhood: her unwavering admiration for police officers, for servicemen – people in uniform, people with oath and duty to protect and serve them. The admiration drove her to form relationships with men willing to take advantage of her,” McNamara said said.

Birchmore’s death is still under investigation by the Norfolk County District Attorney’s Office. Several officials accused of ‘inappropriate relationships’ resign after pregnant woman suicide

Andrew Schnitker

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