Former sexting detective sued by private investigator - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

Former sexting detective sued by private investigator

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Vincent Lucarelli and 19 Action News Reporter Carl Monday Vincent Lucarelli and 19 Action News Reporter Carl Monday
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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

Private investigator Brenda Bickerstaff filed a lawsuit Wednesday alleging that the so-called Cleveland "Sexting Detective" Vincent Lucarelli abused his official authority and made her life unbearable after she telephoned his girlfriend while working on a case. 

Bickerstaff unwittingly uncovered Lucarelli's sexual texting scheme when she reached out to Jasmin Harris, one of several young women that Lucarelli met as victims of crimes with whom he continued to pursue sexual texting relationships after "helping" them.

Filed in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, the complaint names the City of Cleveland, Cleveland Division of Police, Commander Dormat Drummond and other yet unspecified officers/detectives as co-defendants.

Bickerstaff is represented by Robert F. DiCello, Esq. of The DiCello Law Firm.

DiCello argues that while still a member of the force, detective Lucarelli tried to ruin his client's life and had her falsely charged with a crime she did not commit. DiCello stated, "To fulfill his own agenda, Lucarelli went after Ms. Bickerstaff and had no basis doing so."

Specifically, the complaint states that ex-detective Lucarelli and his alleged co-conspirators invented the charges of  intimidation of a crime victim or witness and telecommunications harassment.

During March of 2012, Ms. Bickerstaff was working as a private investigator on a case involving a break-in at the home of Jasmin Harris.

On March 24, 2012 Bickerstaff called Harris to discuss her recollection of the break-in and they set a time to meet in person to discuss the incident.

Within a couple of hours of hanging up the phone, Bickerstaff received a call from Lucarelli, who allegedly screamed at her and told her not to talk with Ms. Harris, to whom he referred as "my client."

After the phone conversation, Lucarelli allegedly recruited fellow officers to participate in a baseless arrest of Bickerstaff, including representing false charges in a police report and to a grand jury.

All charges were dismissed in Bickerstaff's favor on May 24, 2012, and Lucarelli was terminated by the Cleveland Division of Police on January 18, 2013.

Cleveland Police Department Safety Director Marty Flask stated  Lucarelli's actions were "so far out of the realm of what's acceptable behavior for a Cleveland Police Officer."

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