Investigation reveals case details of 3 ex-Mesa officers accused of sexual misconduct
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) – Three veteran Mesa police officers are off the job, all accused of sexual misconduct. Two cases involve prostitutes, and the third centers around an extramarital affair with a woman he was called to help. Arizona’s Family spent the last month investigating, gathering the internal investigation reports, learning more about the officers’ records, and trying to get their response to the accusations.
The Mesa Police Department and the Mesa Police Union both agree with the outcome in these cases. The Department’s Professional Standards Unit investigated all three cases, determining the officers should be terminated. All of it came to light in just a five-month time span.
“I was going on vacation, I would have come back with seven hours of vacation left, so I called it good,” Young Chang said when Arizona’s Family stopped by his home. He offered that explanation for why after nearly 25 years on the job with Mesa police, he abruptly retired in June.
The Mesa Police Department’s Professional Standards investigators found he started an affair in March with a woman who was overdosing, and her ex-husband called police for help. She said Chang started texting her from his personal phone soon after. According to a statement the woman gave to investigators, “she was in a vulnerable position.” She later agreed to let Chang track her and install two video cameras in her apartment, “allowing him remote access to live viewing.”
“So now you’re going to ruin my family, ruin my wife’s career as I’m trying to go back to having a normal life, because I had a little oopsy?” Chang said. That “little oopsy,” according to internal investigation records, found Chang engaged in sex acts with her while on duty between March and May, meeting her behind at least nine businesses. He was in uniform, driving a department vehicle at the time.
Investigator Amy Cutler asked, “Why would you meet up with this woman while you were on-duty for a relationship that was not appropriate?” Chang responded, “Okay, it was like a five minute, ‘hey, what’s up,’ kind of thing.”
Chang denies any sexual contact with the woman while on the job. However, a Mesa police internal investigation disagrees; it upheld all the allegations. Chang then retired and gave up his AZPost Certification. That means he can no longer be in law enforcement in Arizona, but he gets to keep his pension.
Detective Jeffrey Silva was a 16-year veteran with Mesa. According to the investigator’s report, he’s accused of soliciting a prostitute near a Burger King by the U.S. 60 and Country Club Drive while on duty in December 2021.
Turns out that woman was an undercover officer. Internal investigators report that he waved at her, she asked what he was looking for, and he responded, “all of you.” When that undercover officer followed up, the documents show he said, “I have $20 to $30. I shouldn’t, I shouldn’t do this.” When investigators later questioned him, he admitted the exchange but claimed he told her he was “joking with her, since he recognized her.”
Arizona’s Family stopped by his home. “I have nothing to say right now. Sorry, thank you!” Silva said. A Mesa police internal investigation affirmed the allegations, recommending he be terminated. However, he resigned in January before that happened.
Finally, there’s Officer Brandon Cosmann. Arizona’s Family tried to track him down at the home that figures in the case. No answer at the door.
Mesa’s Internal Affairs Unit accused him of hiring a sex worker to come to his home and assaulting her in June. According to the statement she gave police, she claims Cosmann “hit extremely hard in the back of the head.” The statement says “she passed out or lost consciousness,” and when she could, she got up and ran out. Once home, she called authorities.
Cosmann had been with Mesa police for six years; he resigned a month later. “If I was the Chief in Mesa, I would certainly at least ask questions as to whether there was anything about these officers, did they work together? Were they working in a similar unit?” said Dr. Michael Scott. He is a former police chief and now Director of the Center for Problem-Oriented Policing at ASU.
Even though these cases involve three officers out of 1,200 in Mesa, Professor Scott believes these cases should trigger a larger department review. “The real issue for many people is how did the department respond to this? Did they take appropriate action in a timely fashion?” he said.
Mesa police declined an interview. However, in response to questions, they sent the following statement:
Chang, Silva, and Cosmann all turned in their AZPost Certification. “At that point, they don’t have to admit wrongdoing,” said Matt Giordano, the Executive Director of AZPOST.
He said when an officer leaves a department, that agency is required to notify them of the circumstances. He said these three cases would have triggered investigations, but since the officers left the force, that wasn’t necessary here.
Arizona’s Family asked Giordano about the likelihood they could leave the state and enter law enforcement elsewhere. “I wouldn’t say impossible, but very close to impossible for them to work in law enforcement anywhere in the country again,” he said.
Arizona’s Family also checked with the Department of Public Safety; none of the former officers have applied for a license to be a security guard or private investigator. Cosmann is facing criminal charges and two misdemeanors: the first for soliciting a prostitute and the second for assault. Cosmann is set to appear in court in December. He pleaded not guilty.
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