Former Downingtown West officer accused of having sexual relationship with student

Jim Melwert
July 30, 2019 - 3:02 pm
Stefanie Dunne

Chester County District Attorney's Office

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DOWNINGTOWN, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — A 44-year-old former Downingtown police officer has been charged with having an inappropriate relationship with a teenage boy, who, investigators say, she met while she was a resource officer at the teen's high school. 

The investigation started back in May when then-Officer Stefanie Dunne was found with the 17-year-old in a park after hours. 

“Police discovered the defendant in the back seat of her car with the victim, both of whom were partially clothed,” said Chester County First Assistant District Attorney Mike Noone.

According to the criminal complaint, Dunne told police she and the teen were hugging shirtless because she was concerned about his emotional well-being, but she said she never alerted anyone about her concerns that he might hurt himself.

It turned out that the alleged inappropriate relationship dated back to last year.

“They had texted and Snapchatted each other over 6,000 times over that period of time. And many of those Snapchats and text messages dealt with physical reference and sexual references,” he said.

Dunne saved the teen's number in her phone as "Widdle Butterfly."

The criminal complaint also said Dunne met the teen last year when he was in ninth grade at Downingtown High School West, where she worked as a school resource officer.

“This is a situation where this defendant had the responsibility to take care of students, to protect students, and instead she betrayed her oath, she betrayed her badge, and she took advantage of this young man,” Noone added.

Dunne, who is separated from her husband, has four children. 

The May encounter sparked an investigation. As of Tuesday, she has been charged with corruption of minors, and is free on $50,000 unsecured bail. She did not have an attorney at her preliminary arraignment.

Downingtown Police Chief Howard Holland said the department was shocked and disappointed when they learned of the allegations, but he said her actions do not define the other officers in the department.