Cop who threatened ex-wife's boyfriend with gun pleads guilty

Cop who threatened ex-wife's boyfriend with gun pleads guilty
James Botaitis appears in court Friday morning.

VANCOUVER, Wash. -- A Portland police officer who threatened his ex-wife’s new boyfriend with a gun in October 2011 was sentenced Thursday to serve 15 days on a jail work crew.

James Botaitis pleaded guilty in Clark County Superior Court to possession of a dangerous weapon and gross misdemeanor harassment.  He must report to work crew within 24 hours of his sentence.

If Botaitis violates the terms of his probation any time in the next two years, he could go to jail for 349 days.

Officer Botaitis, a 10-year veteran assigned to the Portland Police Bureau’s East Precinct, remains on administrative leave as an internal affairs investigation of him remains open, said Portland Police Sgt. Pete Simpson.

Simpson said he did not know the timeline of that investigation, nor whether Botaitis would face any discipline with the bureau.

Botaitis was arrested on Oct. 24, 2011, after he went to the Vancouver apartment of his ex-wife, pointed a gun at her boyfriend and threatened to kill him. The boyfriend was a registered sex offender, and family members have said Botaitis intended to protect his 7-year-old son.

Following the confrontation, Botaitis holstered his pistol and eventually left the apartment. No one was hurt.

Prosecutors initially charged Botaitis with second-degree assault, a Class B felony.

Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Scott Jackson said prosecutors had concerns taking the case to trial on assault charges. The main concern was there was evidence that could have been used to discredit both Botaitis' ex-wife and her boyfriend, he said.