Police Abuse

Cop Convicted on Sexual Assault-Related Charges Released Just Five Months Into One Year Sentence

Former San Diego cop's legal fees covered by the city, won't have to register as a sex offender either.



Rape culture, via the Los Angeles Times:

A former San Diego police officer was released from jail Monday after serving five months of a one-year sentence for sexually assaulting women while on duty.

Christopher Hays, 30, left the downtown jail at 6:51 a.m., according to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department. No explanation for his release was offered.

Hays, an officer for four years, resigned after his arrest last year. In September, he pleaded guilty to one count of felony false imprisonment and two counts of misdemeanor assault and battery under color of authority.

The charges involved touching women inappropriately and for sexual gratification during pat-downs.

Hays faced a maximum sentence of five years but received just a year from the judge, who said he handed down such a light sentence because of Hays' status as a military veteran and his good record as a police officer (except for all the sexual assault) .  Hays originally faced sexual battery charges before pleading out to less severe charges, which also helped him avoid having to register as a sex offender.

Hays and the city of San Diego are being sued by the four women he assaulted, and Hays' legal fees, up to $250,000, are being covered by taxpayers, who could be on the hook for even more once the lawsuits are resolved. Hays was a cop for less than four years, so even though the city is covering his legal bills and may have to pay for his settlements, he doesn't qualify for any benefits or pension.