In Comeback, Car Sex Cop Is Now A Detective

New Mexico lawman once fired for autoerotic clinch

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Cop Comeback

APRIL 10--In an unlikely comeback story, the New Mexico patrolman fired after being caught on camera having sex on the hood of a car while in uniform has risen to the rank of detective in another police agency.

Bert Lopez was an officer with the State Police when, in 2011, a surveillance camera captured him trysting with a woman splayed out on the hood of a gray Honda sedan parked adjacent to county-owned ranchland in Santa Fe.

Lopez, who had been a State Police officer of the year, was identified as the uniformed man after the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office released a pair of photos (seen above and below) showing the couple in action.

Lopez, now 44, was initially placed on administrative leave while an internal affairs probe commenced. While Lopez was eventually fired, investigators concluded he had not committed a crime since no victim/witness observed the daytime encounter. The woman in the photos was not identified, but police said that she was not connected to any of Lopez’s cases.

Seen at right, Lopez was hired in mid-2015 by the sheriff’s office in Valencia County, about 90 miles southwest of Santa Fe. Lopez worked as a deputy until his promotion last year to detective. He now investigates homicides and other assorted felonious activity.

Yesterday, the sheriff’s office directed county residents to call Lopez if they were contacted by a telephone scammer claiming to work for the department.

Lopez was eligible to seek employment with a police agency after the conclusion of a brief suspension ordered by the New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy. Additionally, the state agency placed Lopez on probation for a year and directed him to complete an ethics training course.

According to a hearing transcript, a remorseful Lopez told board members that he was attending marriage counseling sessions with his wife and “other counseling...regarding his behavior.” Lopez’s wife subsequently filed for legal separation and then divorce, which was finalized in 2014. (3 pages)