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After sex tape, cop wants job back

He and a prosecutor had an affair. They broke up. He called over 7,000 times. He was fired.

Published January 19, 2007


TAMPA - He was a married police officer. She was a married prosecutor.

They started dating. They divorced their spouses. They made a sex tape. They split.

But James Cabble, the Tampa officer, didn't move on. Records show that in seven months, he phoned his ex-girlfriend about 7,200 times, sent threatening text messages and e-mailed her a picture of himself shooting a rifle.

Tampa police officials say he also spit on her during a traffic stop and threatened to go public with the videotape if she didn't take him back. The 11-year veteran's actions got him fired Jan. 5.

Cabble, 35, believes he was unjustly dismissed and filed a complaint Wednesday demanding his job back. He could not be reached for comment Thursday.

"We stand behind the decision to fire him," police spokeswoman Laura McElroy said.

The department's internal investigation file on Cabble contains hundreds of pages. Now a public record because he has been terminated, it details Cabble's relationship with a former prosecutor who is not being named because she is the victim of a sex crime.

The couple met on a case in 2000, records show. By late 2001, they were romantically involved.

They taped themselves having sex in Cabble's apartment in January 2004. In July, the prosecutor said said she wanted to date other people.

Police records outline what happened next:

Cabble threatened to plant drugs on her brother to violate his federal probation. He refused to return her house key and threatened to kill her.

That month, phone records show he called her 309 times. The next month, 923 times. Another 1,048 calls in September and 1,353 in October. In January 2005, the calls totaled 1,679.

Text messages flooded the woman's cell phone.

Sept. 18, 2004: You are ruining one of the most special days of my life, the 3 yr. Anniv. of our first kiss! You are a selfish expletive! You will pay $ $ $ for this!

Sept. 19: Hi honey! I miss everything about you and I love you, I have made bad mistakes recently, but can't accept the life sentence without another trial.

In late 2004, her boss, Hillsborough State Attorney Mark Ober, learned about Cabble's behavior and out of concern for her safety called police Chief Steve Hogue. "We came to the conclusion with the chief that someone would talk to Cabble and get the tape back," Ober told internal affairs investigators.

The woman initially was angry that her bosses were involved. She said she did not want Cabble to lose his job and refused to cooperate with a police investigation.

Ober's call resulted in Cabble's handing over the tape. When the officer's superiors told him to leave her alone, he told them she was the problem.

On Feb. 1, 2005, Cabble stopped her vehicle, cursed at her for ignoring his calls and spat on her shoulder, records show. His actions sparked the internal police investigation.

"In hindsight, I feel bad about it," Cabble told investigators. "I know I made some mistakes."

In June, Cabble pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor stalking charge and was sentenced to a year's probation and ordered to give her all additional copies of the tape. He remained employed as the internal investigation continued.

"He is afforded due process in our system just as he is in the judicial system," McElroy said.

She said the department is evaluating whether Cabble's complaint is legitimate.

Colleen Jenkins can be reached at (813) 226-3337 or

[Last modified January 19, 2007, 00:40:15]

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