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Victoria Police officer jailed for preying on vulnerable women



A cop who abused his position to try and have sex with vulnerable women, including some escaping family violence, will spend six months behind bars.

Brett Johnson, 42, claimed he began pursuing women he met through his work as a Victoria Police officer to boost his self-esteem after being cheated on by a former fiancée about two decades ago.

Over nine years he used private police databases to find out personal details of vulnerable women he wanted to have sex with.

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These included victims of crime and two women who were seeking police help due to family violence.

Johnson would get their information off Victorian Police Law Enforcement Assistance Program (LEAP) and try to meet the women, sending them texts messages, calling or going to their homes.

He admitted 10 charges of misconduct in public office while he worked at Richmond, Fawkner, Sunshine and Pyramid Hill police stations between 2010 and 2019. He resigned from Victoria Police in 2021 after he was charged.

Judge Liz Gaynor said the women he pursued were often frightened of him, seeking support from police at the most vulnerable period of their lives.

"You preyed upon the very people you had sworn to serve and protect," she said.

"You may have the support of family and friends who came to you in your time of need. These women did not, they turned to police."

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She said his "fractured" self-esteem from an ex-partner cheating on him in "no way justifies your continuous exercise of abuse of power over many years".

Johnson remained silent, dressed in a suit, as he was jailed for six months on Tuesday. He will then have to perform 300 hours of unpaid community work and undergo mental health treatment on a two-year community corrections order.

Support is available from the National Sexual Assault, Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service at 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732).

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