Secret Service driver for Michelle Obama charged with criminal harassment on Vineyard
MARTHA'S VINEYARD - A U.S. Secret Service employee and driver for former first lady Michelle Obama was charged with criminal harassment and witness intimidation in a Massachusetts court on Friday, October 7, according to court documents.
Douglas Vines, 53, was arraigned in Edgartown District Court, according to the Cape and Islands District Attorney's Office, and entered not guilty pleas, Edgartown District Court Clerk Liza Williamson said.
An Oak Bluffs Police Department police report filed last month states that a woman told police she had been dating Vines for about two months when he said he wanted to have sex with her one evening, but she decided she didn't want to.
The woman said Vines then went "off the handle," alternating between calling her and shouting at her, and texting her about how she was "messing with the wrong person," according to the report. The woman said Vines used his position as a driver for the Obama family to intimidate her "while attempting to get her to come back out and have sex with him," the report says.
According to the report, the woman said Vines told her that he could "ping" her cell phone, read her text messages, get into her phone and that he had her DNA. Vines told the woman he had recorded her without her knowledge when she talked about her citizenship status and that he would have her deported, the report says.
The woman showed police two pictures Vines sent to her, including a shirtless picture of herself with a hand against her breasts and "her attention turned in another direction," the report says.
"Vines was also threatening to release the photos he had of her along with getting her deported if she went to the police," according to the report.
In a subsequent interview with law enforcement, the woman said "there were multiple times that he would try to video or photograph her when they were having sex and she would tell him no," according to another police report attached to the complaint. She said Vines had some consensual nude pictures, but she did not remember or consent to the photo he sent her, according to the report. The woman "reiterated that she was in distress about the consensual and non-consensual nude photos or videos that he had of her because he told her he had more and would use them against her," according to the report.
The woman denied that Vines had ever threatened to physically harm or kill her, telling police that he had never hit her, "just emotionally abused her."
A defense attorney for Vines could not be reached.
A judge issued an abuse prevention order on the same day the woman reported Vines to the police directing him to stay away from her and not contact her, according to the police report. Vines was also directed to turn over any firearms, gun licenses and firearms identification cards he had, the report says. Vines turned over his service Glock 9 mm pistol, three full magazines and one bullet, according to the criminal complaint.
"We were made aware of the charges against him (an investigative support officer) and the outcome of [last week's] court proceedings," US Secret Service spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi said in a statement. "We have extraordinarily high ethical standards and the allegations are very concerning."
Guglielmi said that Vines was placed on administrative leave, his security clearance was suspended and "his equipment and access to any Secret Service facility or protected site has also been suspended pending the criminal and administrative actions."
Guglielmi added that Vines' suspension "means he will be removed from President Obama's detail until the criminal component and our personnel investigation is concluded."
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