An NYPD detective who was arrested for masturbating while looking into kid’s window admitted to being a serial pervert. The backyard masturbating fiend who practices his craft in front of young girls, received a desk-appearance ticket and was released from custody Monday, authorities said.
The police commissioner of Rockville Centre, Long Island, where disgraced Detective Robert Francis was allegedly caught in the act Sunday, defended officials’ decision not to keep the cop in custody, saying he was in no way given “special treatment” because he’s an officer.
“We only charged him with misdemeanors,” Police Commissioner Charles Gennario said. “That’s all we could charge him with. He was not a danger in that sense that he was now known to us.”
Francis, 46, was busted around 2:30 a.m. Sunday when he was caught standing in the driveway of a Rockville Centre home with a flashlight, authorities said.
Officials say he would shine a flashlight into bedroom windows to get the attention of his female victims, then begin masturbating when they looked outside.
The Queens cop, who has been suspended from the NYPD, was charged with four incidents of public lewdness dating back to Feb. 5.
Three of his female victims were under the age of 16, Gennario said.
“He would drive into town,” he said. “He would leave his vehicle blocks from where he was going to victimize people.”
Commissioner Gennario insisted that Francis’ victims “were chosen at random. It was a coincidence that they were young girls.”
Francis, was charged with four counts of public lewdness, a misdemeanor, stemming from a quartet of creepy incidents in Rockville Centre, Long Island but the detective indicated to police he’d peered at even more women, Gennario said.
“He said he has done this in other jurisdictions,” Gennario said.
He was also charged with three counts of endangering the welfare of a minor since three of the victims were under 16 and one 17, as well as trespassing.Francis’s motive remain unclear, thought court papers indicate he’s recently faced serious money trouble.
Detective Robert Francis has been having problems getting on top of his bills in his Springfield Gardens, NY home [photo]
When Francis was arrested Sunday, he admitted to the earlier incidents and showed “remorse,” Gennario said.
“He kept telling the investigating detective that he was going through tough times,” the commissioner said. “I spoke to my detective just before we came in here, and he was concerned that he might harm himself.”
“He kept telling investigative detectives that he was going through tough times. To really tell you the truth, at this point I spoke to my detective just before we came in here and he was concerned that he may harm himself,” Gennario said.
Court records indicate that Francis was ordered by a Queens judge to pay $40,209 for unpaid rent at his Springfield Gardens, Queens home in April 2016. Last September, he declared bankruptcy, claiming he had $624,000 in assets, but $727,000 in liabilities.
Gennario said Francis’s arrest was the result of an investigation that began Feb. 5 with a report of a Peeping Tom shining a flashlight into a woman’s window, then fondling himself. Two similar incidents soon followed.
“Same M.O. Male exposing himself, getting the attention of a female resident. When she looked, he would start masturbating. When she would go to get help, he would run away,” Gennario said.
On Friday, after several weeks without a report of a Peeping Tom, the pervert struck again, Gennario said.
On Saturday, police received a report of a suspicious person in a driveway and arrested Francis before he acted, Gennario said.
The detective with 17 years on the force was carrying a flashlight and fit descriptions of the suspect, police said.
Francis was also charged with three counts of endangering the welfare of a child and trespassing.