Ex-Lilburn cop indicted, accused of on-duty 'inappropriate touching'

Gary Livingston (Credit: Lilburn Police Department)

Gary Livingston (Credit: Lilburn Police Department)

A now-former officer with the Lilburn Police Department was indicted Wednesday, accused of inappropriately touching and videotaping a woman while on duty.

According to information released by Lilburn police, a Gwinnett County grand jury indicted 34-year-old Gary Livingston on two counts of unlawful surveillance and individual counts of simple battery and violation of oath of office. Livingston was terminated by the department on June 15, a few weeks after the incident that led to his indictment.

Authorities believe that, early on the morning of May 25, Livingston and a fellow officer responded to an alarm call at a local apartment complex. They found it was a false alarm and left — but Livingston returned just minutes later "for no reason related to his law enforcement activities."

"He chatted with the 31-year-old female property manager and then asked her to participate in what he called a college psychology course project," police said. "He is then alleged to have proceeded to ask her to simulate that she was asleep and made physical contact with her as she did this, all while he videotaped this with his personal cellphone."

Livingston reportedly touched the woman's "arm, head and shoulders" before leaving. The woman called 911 shortly afterward and Livingston was placed on paid suspension less than three hours later, police said.

The officer, who had been with Lilburn PD since April 2013, was terminated following an internal investigation, the findings of which were then turned over to the Gwinnett County District Attorney's Office.

"The complainant specifically said that she was in fear for her safety and noted had you not been in uniform, she would not have consented to your requests," Chief Bruce Hedley wrote in Livingston's termination letter, according to Wednesday's news release.

As of early Wednesday evening, Gwinnett County jail records did not list Livingston as an inmate.

According to published news reports, Livingston was one of five Lilburn officers given the department's "Meritorious Service Award" in 2013 for their roles in apprehending two armed robbery suspects. Also receiving the award was then-Senior Investigator Kim Banks — who resigned just a few months later after being tied to missing drug evidence within the department. She later entered a plea agreement and was sentenced to three years of probation.

"It is a privilege and an honor to wear this uniform," Hedley said Wednesday. "The Lilburn Police Department will terminate any officer who abuses that privilege."

Livingston is the second Gwinnett County law enforcement officer to make headlines with criminal charges in as recent weeks. On Nov. 2, Gwinnett sheriff's deputy Michael Lomax was arrested on aggravated child molestation charges after allegedly having sex with a 13-year-old boy he met on Grindr, a gay social networking app.

Lomax was the sixth Gwinnett deputy to be arrested since 2012.