Retired Redlands cop charged with molestation

REDLANDS — A retired police lieutenant arrested in May for a felony molestation that took place more than two years ago will appear in court next month.

Bill Cranfill, 55, held various positions at the Redlands Police Department, retiring last December after 32 years with the department. He had been working as a security director at the University of Redlands when arrested on molestation charges involving a girl under the age of 14.

Despite the charges, the Redlands City Council last week approved Cranfill’s medical disability retirement. The action took place during a closed-door session one and was deemed difficult to avoid by city Councilman Pete Aguilar.

“The law makes it very difficult to deny medical disability retirements,” he said.

Cranfill was charged with two felonies stemming from allegations that he molested a girl, reportedly a family member, in 2008. He remains free on $100,000 bail, which was put up by a law enforcement support system.

The victim apparently reported the incidents to a counselor, who notified Redlands police. By policy, the investigation was turned over to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office.

Redlands police Chief Jim Bueerman said any internal investigation regarding past or present law enforcement officers wold represent a conflict of interest.

“It removes the taint of a cover-up, I think, which is important to the people in Redlands,” Bueerman said of an outside law enforcement agency conducting an investigation.

Cranfill had been arrested outside his office at the University of Redlands. On Monday, his arraignment date was set for July 19.

“It was difficult news,” said Bueerman. “But I have faith in the system and we should see how it works out.”

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