Criminal Investigation of Denver Police Officers and Wives

Two Denver police officers are under investigation for criminal charges related to an incident that happened in an Aurora home during an alleged swingers party.  Officers Steven Sloan and Jeremy Ownbey were at Sloan’s home in Aurora when a fight broke out.  Sloan and his wife and Ownbey and his wife have a history of swinging, a practice where couples share partners.

The argument started when there was disagreement over who would participate in the sexual activity.  The fight started between the wives.  The officers then got involved an ended up fighting one another.  Sloan is alleged to have pulled a gun during the argument.  To further complicate matters, it is suspected that everyone was drinking.  Ownbey actually left the home initially, but eventually returned.  Four Aurora police officers are now the subject of an internal investigation because they neglected to complete a DUI investigation related to Ownbey.

The two Denver officers are under investigation by the Arapahoe County District Attorney’s Office.  Thus far, no charges have been filed.  It is not clear whether the wives are also being investigated.  The Denver officers are also the subject of an internal investigation through the Denver Police Department.  Pending the results of that investigation, the officers have desk jobs.

Possible charges the officers could be facing include assault, menacing and prohibited use of a weapon (“drunk with a gun.”). While the Aurora officers maybe should have investigated Ownbey for a DUI, because they failed to do so at the time, Ownbey has likely escaped that charge.  Generally, officers need to try to get a sample of the suspected drunk driver’s breath or blood to determine the driver’s breath or blood alcohol content.  A driver might provide this sample and prove that they are not drunk.  Evidence that is helpful to the driver is called exculpatory evidence.   Because Ownbey was not given the opportunity to provide potentially exculpatory evidence, the DA cannot now bring a DUI charge.