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Former Mesa officer pleads not guilty to assault

Retired officer Scott Callender has pleaded not guilty. He was released on his own recognizance and is scheduled back in court on Jan. 5.

MESA, Ariz. — A former Mesa police officer who has been indicted on two felony counts of domestic violence appeared before a judge Friday for his arraignment.

Retired officer Scott Callender has pleaded not guilty. He was released on his own recognizance and is scheduled back in court on Jan. 5.

As the 12 News I-Team first reported on Aug. 9, 2019, former Mesa K9 officer Scott Callender had a turbulent past with women he dated. 

Four female police officers accused him of emotional or physical abuse over the span of more than two decades. 

Callender remained on the force and was never charged with a crime until earlier this month. 

A Mesa K9 officer, Scott Callender, was accused of domestic violence against four female officers over more than two decades. He was indicted on an assault charge.

A woman told police earlier this year that while she was dating Callender, he planted a recording device in her car to spy on her phone conversations. 

According to police records, “Callender knew it was not right, but he had to know if she was being loyal to him.” She also accused Callender of prying in her emails and secretly downloading text messages.

A grand jury slapped Callender with a felony charge of intercepting communications, something domestic violence experts say is often not taken seriously enough.

“At the root of all domestic abuse is power and control,” said Patricia Klahr, CEO of the nonprofit Chrysalis. “When you find out someone is watching, listening , or tracking any type of communication, that should be a red flag.”

Callender is also charged with breaking that same woman’s ribs in 2017. It is an allegation that Callender’s attorney said was already cleared by the Mesa Police Department’s investigation last year.

“You have to understand that this is a lot of gossip and they are really airing a lot of the laundry from the Mesa Police Department and so gossip does not equate to evidence and that’s pretty much what this case is about,” said Kyle Reedy, attorney for Callender.

The Mesa Police Department confirms Callender was facing termination before he retired on Nov. 6, and says the department is “committed to providing a workplace that is free from harassment, intimidation or bullying of any type.”

During Friday’s hearing, the judge unsealed grand jury transcripts. Those records are expected to be made available next week.