Former SFPD Lieutenant Charged for Obstructing a Rape Investigation Involving Another Officer

News from the Office of District Attorney George Gascón

April 27, 2016
CONTACT:       ALEX BASTIAN (415) 553-1931
                         MAX SZABO (415) 553-9089



SAN FRANCISCO – Today, District Attorney George Gascón announced the filing of charges against former San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) Lieutenant Curtis Liu.  Former Lieutenant Liu is charged with obstructing a rape investigation involving another San Francisco Police Officer by making false and misleading statements and withholding key information from officers who were investigating the rape allegations.

“A willingness to cover up allegations of a crime as serious as rape is not an acceptable quality in any police officer,” said District Attorney George Gascón.  “But the fact that such a void of principle was demonstrated by a leader makes this behavior that much more concerning.”

According to court documents, on August 7, 2015 an allegation that a woman had been raped was reported to the San Francisco Police Department.  Then-Lieutenant Liu contacted a San Francisco Police Officer who worked at his station, and who had the same name as the reported rapist.  Lieutenant Liu discussed the allegations with the Officer, and the Officer provided Lieutenant Liu with information that confirmed that the Officer was, in fact, the person that the rape victim was referring to.  Instead of reporting this information to his fellow officers, Liu engaged in a series of actions designed to keep the investigation from focusing on the Officer.  These actions included lying to his subordinates and superior officers about the fact that he had contacted the suspect-Officer, and permitting the police report regarding the rape to be filed with the suspect listed as “unknown,” when Lieutenant Liu knew that the proper suspect was the Officer.     

Former SFPD Lieutenant Liu is charged with one count of violating California Penal Code Section 118.1 (Making a False Statement in a Police Report), a felony, and two counts of violating California Penal Code Section 148(a)(1) (Delaying or Obstructing a Peace Officer), both misdemeanors. Former Lieutenant Liu is currently retired from the Police Department.

An arraignment date has not yet been set.  This case is the result of an investigation conducted by inspectors of the SFPD Internal Affairs Division-Criminal.  Assistant District Attorney Michael Sullivan is prosecuting the case.