Frank Geisenhoffer, the South Carthage (TN) “hero” cop who was caught on audio recordings sexually harassing a woman and boasting about having done so to another woman in court, has resigned.
Last week, Geisenhoffer’s repeated sexual harassment of a local store clerk was exposed in a “NewsChannel 5 Investigates” story. That woman, Elizabeth Restrepo, had secretly recorded Geisenhoffer asking her for nude photos of herself and her sister, making crude sexual comments about their appearance and admitting that he had once shown her a video of himself masturbating.
In addition, he also could be heard on the tapes boasting about how he had sexually harassed another woman in court with a judge present. In that instance, he described how he sent the unidentified woman text messages telling her to “spread your legs and let me see that pussy.” According to Geisenhoffer, he was sitting in the jury box at the time.
“I don’t do big girls,” Geisenhoffer says at one point. “Don’t have to — not with this d…k.”
At another point, he tells Restrepo, “You do look good, baby. F…ing hot!” Later, he comments on the appearance of her nipples.
“Everything about Frank is scary, but it’s even more scary because he has a badge,” she told NewsChannel 5 Investigates.
Restrepo began making the recordings in the early morning hours when the on-duty officer would visit her store. She said that he went from asking her for nude pictures of herself to showing her a video of himself masturbating.
“I didn’t know what to say.” she recalled. “I didn’t know what to do. I honestly, I think my mind went blank, like wow, did that really just happen?”
Then, she said, Geisenhoffer asked for video of her pleasuring herself.
“I said, ‘Frank, really?’ – like that. He said, ‘No, I’m serious.’ He said, ‘If you ever were to do that, give me a video. I’ll pay you for it. I will owe you big!’”
That’s when, after checking with one of his fellow officers, she decided to record him.
“Because I had to prove — I just didn’t want it to be an officer against a girl that just works at a convenience store,” Restrepo said.
On the recordings, Geisenhoffer first asks her for nude pics of herself.
“Dude, yesterday was my birthday so I was hoping you’d send me a picture of something,” he says.
Later, he asks for pictures of her sister’s breasts.
“Get me a picture of those t…ies,” he begs.
It’s a request that, on the recordings, he makes repeatedly.
At one point, Geisenhoffer tells Restrepo, “I saw a picture on Facebook of whatever she is to you. You was gonna get me a picture of her t…ies.”
NewsChannel 5 Investigates noted to Restrepo, “He comes back and asks for the same thing.”
“Over and over and over,” she answered.
Restrepo said that, at first, she hadn’t know how to deal with the South Carthage officer’s indecent requests.
Her initial instincts: “Laugh it off kinda. ‘Awww, Frank, you’re crazy!’ You know, whatever you have to do. What do you say?”
Did she ever say “stop it”?
“No,” she acknowledged.
“Maybe because of who he is, maybe because of the things I know about Frank, maybe because I was scared, maybe because I didn’t know what to do — he’s an officer of the law.”
Then, one day, while she was recording, Restrepo said Geisenhoffer reached out and touched her.
“Grabbed my hair and just laid it like that,” she said, gesturing toward her breasts.
On the recording, Geisenhoffer says quietly, “Make a picture… just barely covering your nipples… barely, but with your hands on your hips.”
Restrepo recalled the moment.
“I could smell his breath,” she said, fighting back tears. “I didn’t know what to do, but to stand there and let him do it and record him.”
At some point, after Geisenhoffer heard that Restrepo might have been upset with him, he returned to the store and seemed to admit he had crossed a line.
“I did something to you here one night, and I felt bad about it,” he says on one of the recordings. “I didn’t touch you, but I almost did. I almost touched you — may have — and I felt bad about it.”
NewsChannel 5 Investigates said to Restrepo, “That must have been tough.”
“More than you know,” she answered.
“You felt violated?”
Finally, in that last recording, the officer admits to having shown her the video of himself masturbating.
“Dude, I can get myself off. You know. In fact, you’ve seen me get myself off — and I erased that too, by the way,” he says with a chuckle.
“I nearly jumped as high as the sky because I knew that finally I could prove that he really did show me that. And I thought, wow, finally got him. That’s what I thought.”
We observed, “It wasn’t just your word against a police officer’s word?”
“No,” she said, as tear ran down her cheek.
In another recording, Geisenhoffer boasts of having been ordered out a different store presumably for the same type of behavior. He then continues to brag about the courtroom incident.
And he boasts about pressuring another woman to expose her genital area right in the middle of a courtroom with a judge present.
“So I texted her and said, ‘Spread your legs and let me see that p…y,” Geisenhoffer recounts during the recording.
“She put in big bold letters: ‘NO.’ I said, ‘Please, baby, please.’ I was sitting like [in] the jury box thing, I was sitting over there. (Inaudible) Didn’t have on no panties or nothing.”
We asked Restrepo, “What does that say about him as an officer of the law?”
“Exactly,” she answered. “And every day he gets to wake up and put that badge on.”
Ultimately, Restrepo filed a complaint with the South Carthage Police Department. Their only response was to “punish” Geisenhoffer, who has at least eight previous complaints on his record including one that was serious enough that it resulted in him being demoted from sergeant back to a patrol officer, with a two week suspension and ordering him to stay out of the store where Restrepo works.
That is what prompted Restrepo to contact the news. “An officer of the law can do these things and just walk away and still be getting up and putting that badge on – still?”
Fortunately, the publicity generated by that story has led to Geisenhoffer’s resignation. Of course, the reality is that being allowed to resign, rather than being fired (and facing charges) as he should have, allows Geisenhoffer to collect his pension and potentially also receive retirement benefits. It also allows him to engage in the rather common practice amongst “Bad Apples” of simply going out and getting hired by another police department.