Investigation finds two former Marco Island cops were having sex while on duty

Devan Patel
Marco Eagle
Police sirens.

Internal affairs investigations into two former Marco Island police officers have revealed both officers had separately engaged in sex on numerous occasions while on duty.

Interviews and a forensic examination of text messages, emails and videos substantiated allegations against Sergeants James Inlow and Neil Giansanti, who resigned on Feb. 11 and March 30 respectively.

The first of what would be four investigations was launched on Jan. 23 after Police Chief Al Schettino received a letter from the father of a young woman about potential wrongdoing along with screenshots of text messages and graphic photos of Inlow.

In asking Schettino to remove Inlow from the force, the father stated: "She is still under hospitalized care due to the mess this monster has caused her."

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Schettino placed Inlow, employed with the department since July 1, 2013, on administrative leave the following day. Inlow tendered his resignation five days after turning over his department-issued cell phone for examination.

In his resignation email to Schettino, Inlow wrote: “ ... my wife and daughter have went through hell over the past 6 mo [sic], and I want to protect them from having there [sic] names smeared in the media, and getting harassed at school.”

The young woman, now 21 years old, is the same person that accused Inlow of making threats on Aug. 23, 2017, during a confrontation outside of the Marco Island Starbucks.

Marco Island Police Department Sgt. James Inlow

Although Inlow resigned, the investigation continued, and thousands of text messages, photos and videos extremely graphic and sexual in nature were retrieved from the woman’s phone that implicated him.

Cross-referencing shift assignment reports to the timestamps, investigators were able to prove Inlow was sending sexually explicit text messages and having sex with the woman while on duty.

An internal affairs investigation found that former Marco Island police sergeant James Inlow sent sexually explicit text messages, solicited Adderall and had sex while on duty.

In the text messages sent by Inlow, he also asked the woman to bring him Adderall on several occasions. In one message, Inlow offered to pay the woman for the drug.

Investigators also found messages where Inlow directed the woman to obtain the pills from her mother when she did not have any available.

The woman also provided an interview with investigators on March 29 and detailed the nature of her nearly two-year relationship with Inlow as well as other Marco Island police officers while they were on duty.

Internal affairs sustained violations of policies by Inlow pertaining to integrity, non-compliance with directives and conduct unbecoming. There was insufficient evidence to prove or disprove that Inlow violated the department’s policy on unauthorized use of drugs.

Neil Giansanti

An internal affairs investigation found that former Marco Island police sergeant Neil Giansanti had sex on duty on several occasions.

While proving the allegations against Inlow true, the investigation took another turn when the Collier County Sheriff’s Office turned over the findings from its forensic examination in March.

In the files retrieved from the woman’s phone, investigators found a 45-second video of Giansanti putting his uniform back on next to his police car.

In the video, Giansanti’s boots are off and he’s tucking his shirt into his trousers before the woman slides her hand through his unzipped fly.

While the police department does not have the ability to track its vehicles through GPS, a timestamp and GPS location attached to the video put the incident in the parking lot of the Family Church of Marco Island at 1:53 a.m., April 4, 2017.

According to shift reports, Giansanti was assigned to work between 6 p.m., April 3, and 6 a.m., April 4. During the shift, Giansanti responded to or initiated eight incidents but none between 1:19 and 2:39 a.m.

Both of the incidents that bookended the inactive time were either at or near the Family Church of Marco Island.

In her interview with investigators, the woman estimated she and Giansanti had sex while he was on duty about 20 times over the course of eight months including in his squad car and at the ballfield on Winterberry Drive.

Giansanti, whose employment began Jan. 25, 2010, resigned from the department the day following the woman’s interview.

The internal affairs investigation sustained three violations by Giansanti pertaining to integrity, non-compliance with directives and conduct unbecoming. 

In the affidavits of separation submitted to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, no criminal charges were listed for either Giansanti or Inlow. However, Capt. Dave Baer wrote in an email that there had not been a final determination made by the department whether to seek charges for time theft.

Additional internal affairs cases

The Inlow investigation also spawned two other internal affairs investigations, including one that remains open. 

Schettino issued a letter of reprimand to Det. Brian Granneman on May 11 after violations were sustained pertaining to employee responsibilities and non-compliance with directives.

Text messages between the woman and Granneman and interviews conducted with both parties revealed that he had knowledge of the woman’s sexual relationships with members of the police department including the suspicion that the illicit acts were occurring while on duty.

The woman told investigators that she would tip Granneman off about locations to avoid and her accounts were corroborated by their text message history.

In the Sheriff’s Office examination of the woman’s phone, text messages from July 2015, two months after she turned 18 years old, were found where the woman tells Granneman about an encounter with Inlow at Tigertail Beach.

Woman: “Did I tell you me and James finally went to Tigertail Beach”
Granneman: “No, Tigertail is a good quiet spot haha”
Woman: “Oh I know and we were in my car too”

Less than two weeks later, Granneman asked the woman in a text message at 2:36 a.m. where to avoid. 

The woman responded, “He’s scouting right now” before texting “Tigertail.”

While Granneman said in his interview that he never witnessed Inlow, who was his supervisor, and the woman having sex on duty, Schettino wrote in a memorandum that Granneman should have reported the behavior to another supervisor.

Schettino recommended that Granneman not be promoted to sergeant from the eligibility list that expired on May 12 but allowed him to participate in the next promotional process.

In the three closed internal affairs investigations, sections are redacted as part of a fourth investigation that Baer said was open.

The investigation involves Kevin Hennings, who has been on administrative leave and whose text messages to the woman were part of Giansanti’s file and redacted.

When asked about the date Hennings had been on administrative leave, Baer wrote in an Aug. 9 email that it was approximately 120 days.