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Former Aurora school resource officer accused of texting 16-year-old about “panties” faces criminal charges

Egide “DJ” Ndagije, who resigned in lieu of being fired, had worked as SRO at Aurora Central High School

A view of Aurora Central High School on Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020. (Photo by Rachel Ellis/The Denver Post)
A view of Aurora Central High School on Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020. (Photo by Rachel Ellis/The Denver Post)

The Denver Post - A former Aurora Police Department school resource officer is facing criminal charges after allegedly sending inappropriate texts to a 16-year-old girl while he was still on the force, according to court records and the girl’s attorney.

Egide “DJ” Ndagije, 26, was charged with three counts of official misconduct in March over allegations of wrongdoing that happened while he was working as the school resource officer at Aurora Central High School, court records show.

An Aurora Police Department internal affairs investigation found that Ndagije took a photo of a girl without permission, sent inappropriate texts to the girl and used a law enforcement database to look up the girl and her family members.

He resigned from the Aurora Police Department on Oct. 26 in lieu of termination while the investigation was ongoing, agency spokesman Matthew Longshore said in a statement Tuesday. Ndagije was hired in March 2021 and became a school resource officer in August 2022.

Court records do not detail the specific allegations that led to the criminal charges against Ndagije, and say only that he “knowingly committed… an unauthorized exercise of his official function and/or violated a statute or lawfully adopted rule or regulation relating to his office.”

But text messages provided by Matthew Haltzman, a Fort Collins attorney, show Ndagije exchanged inappropriate texts with Haltzman’s client, a then-16-year-old girl who met the officer when she was a student at Aurora Central High School.

The girl, who The Denver Post is not identifying because she is a minor, said she met Ndagije as a sophomore at the school, and grew close to him, spending free periods in his office. He sometimes bought lunch for her and her friend, and they viewed him as a “trusted adult,” the girl told The Post in an interview Tuesday. She is now 17.

When her family moved to Fort Collins, he gave her his personal cellphone number, and told her she could always call if she needed help.

Several months later, she did. The girl texted Ndagije for help in October when her teenage ex-boyfriend was harassing her, according to 29 pages of text messages reviewed by The Post.

A chain of text messages

Over the course of two days, Ndagije answered the girl’s questions about legal steps she could take to deal with the harassment, then moved the conversation into more personal territory, asking the girl about her sex life, about what she was doing at the moment, how well she slept and how she dealt with stress, according to the text chain.

Ndagije told the girl he was her “friend,” and warned her not to tell Fort Collins police or anyone that they were texting. He encouraged her to move their conversation to WhatsApp — which uses end-to-end encryption — and at one point told the girl she “looked great” and didn’t need to lose weight.

“You are a grown woman,” Ndagije texted on Oct. 1, followed by several face-palm emojis and thinking face emojis.

“Not yet,” the girl responded with a laughing-while-crying emoji. “I’m only grown when I start paying my own bills, is what my mom says.”

“Come onnn I be having alot of (expletive) in my head,” Ndagije responded, with more laughing-while-crying emojis. “She still (p)ays for all your bills and clothes?”

“Yeah duh I’m only 16,” the girl answered. “I’m the youngest so I’m spoiled.”

“She even buys you panties???” the officer texted with a thinking-face emoji, according to the messages reviewed by The Post.

“Mmm that’s not appropriate DJ,” the girl answered with a laughing-while-crying emoji.

The messages made the girl uncomfortable, she said Tuesday. “Like he was trying to take advantage of my vulnerability,” she said. “It just made me sick, I trusted that person, I was very close to him.”

An attorney for Ndagije, Don Sisson, declined to comment on the criminal allegations Tuesday.

A spokesman for the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office could not provide additional detail on the criminal charges. Ndagije is due in court for an advisement on May 31.

Can no longer work as a police officer

The internal affairs investigation into Ndagije began when the girl alerted her parents to the texts, and they reported the exchanges to Aurora police. Then-chief Art Acevedo also requested the Colorado Bureau of Investigation conduct a criminal investigation into the officer, Longshore said.

The internal investigation revealed that Ndagije had taken a photo of the girl without her knowledge while she was visiting him in his office at Aurora Central High School. During one of those office visits, Ndagije also looked up the girl’s personal information, as well as that of her family, in a law enforcement database to show her how it worked, according to the investigation.

The internal affairs probe also found items in Ndagije’s bag that should have been submitted to the property and evidence unit, according to a summary of the investigation.

Ndagije can no longer work as a police officer in Colorado. He lost his Peace Officer Standards and Training certification on March 15 after the board found he was untruthful during the internal affairs investigation.

A spokesman for Aurora Public Schools, Corey Christiansen, did not answer questions from The Post about whether the school alerted parents and students to the allegations against Ndagije.

“We take all reports of misconduct seriously and want to emphasize that safety is our top priority,” he said in a brief statement.

Haltzman said that to his knowledge, the school never warned parents about the allegations. He suspects additional girls were targeted and thinks more victims may come forward.

“Looking at these text messages, this appears to be an individual who has engaged in these activities before,” he said.

See the original article here: https://www.denverpost.com/2024/05/21/egide-dj-ndagije-aurora-police-school-resource-officer-charged/

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