A former Aurora DARE officer accused of forcing a 15-year-old runaway to take sexually explicit photos of herself is due in court for sentencing in early July.

Former Officer Michael Mangino pleaded guilty to felony exploitation of a child in April as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors.

At his July 5 sentencing, Mangino faces a maximum of three years in prison and a minimum of probation. A spokeswoman for the Adams County district attorney’s office said after Mangino’s plea he will also have to register as a sex offender.

Mangino, 51, was charged with sexual exploitation of a child and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, both felonies, and was scheduled to go on in May but avoided trial by entering the plea.

The 29-year APD veteran, who is free on bond pending sentencing, also faced a misdemeanor charge of official misconduct.

After the plea, Aurora police Chief Dan Oates issued a statement that said the felony conviction for Mangino is appropriate.

“Mr. Mangino is now a convicted felon and sex offender. This is a fitting conclusion to his despicable behavior,” the statement said. “Our heart goes out to the victim. As terrible as Mangino’s actions were, I am pleased that our investigators discovered his crime, addressed it head on and worked aggressively to achieve justice. The Aurora Police Department is glad to be rid of Mr. Mangino.”

As a DARE officer, Mangino worked at six local elementary schools: Vaughn, Clyde Miller, Lyn Knoll, Arkansas, East Ridge and St. Pius X. As a police area representative, Mangino worked an area stretching from Potomac Street west to Peoria Street and East Sixth Avenue north to East Colfax Avenue.

The incident involving the 15-year-old girl happened in early March 2011 when Mangino arrested the runaway, according to police. Police said Mangino had the girl take sexually explicit photos of herself on Mangino’s personal cell phone.

The girl later told police about the incident and based on the ongoing investigation, Mangino was later placed on unpaid leave.

The lead prosecutor in the case, Chief Trial Deputy J.P. Moore, said during the plea hearing that prosecutors believe there may have been similar incidents involving other victims, but because of the statute of limitations and evidence currently available, further charges aren’t likely.

The department was scheduled to launch an internal investigation into Mangino’s conduct when the criminal case wraps up, but last fall Mangino retired and a department spokesperson said the internal investigation will no longer happen.

One reply on “Former APD officer to be sentenced in exploitation case”

  1. Why would they close the internal investigation?? If he did this, then he likely has committed other crimes against children as well, I mean c’mon… 29 years as a police officer and one incident right as he’s at the time in his life where he’s primed to retire?

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