Former Tuscaloosa Police officer pleads guilty to civil rights - WVTM-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Birmingham, AL

Former Tuscaloosa Police officer pleads guilty to civil rights violation

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TUSCALOOSA, AL -

A former sergeant with the Tuscaloosa Police Department, 34-year-old Jason Glenn Thomas, has pleaded guilty to a criminal civil rights charge for using his authority as a law enforcement officer to sexually assault a woman.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, court documents filed in connection with his guilty plea, Thomas admitted that while on duty shortly after midnight on March 27, 2011, he stopped and detained a female pedestrian without placing her under arrest.  Thomas then transported the woman in his patrol vehicle to a remote area and sexually assaulted her. 

 "This former officer did the unimaginable when he used his police powers to sexually assault this victim," said Roy L. Austin, Jr., Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division.  "The Justice Department will continue to vigorously prosecute those who abuse their position and authority to harm those individuals whom they have sworn to protect."

  "Most police officers work diligently every day to protect the citizens," said U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama Joyce White Vance. "A community must be able to trust its police officers.  My office is committed to prosecuting any officers who abuse the authority of the badge to commit a crime.  This abuse of the public's trust will not be permitted."

  "Mr. Thomas dishonored his badge and his fellow officers when he violated the civil rights of a female pedestrian while on duty, in uniform and in a marked patrol car," said FBI Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Birmingham, Ala., Field Office Richard D. Schwein Jr. "Citizens have a right and should expect ethical and proper treatment from all law enforcement officers and we, as civil servants, must never forget that we have sworn an oath to serve and protect them. The public can be assured the FBI will continue to aggressively pursue those rogue officers who violate that trust."

  Thomas faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.  Sentencing is scheduled for July 18, 2013, before U.S. District Judge C. Lynwood Smith.

  This case was investigated by the Tuscaloosa resident agency of the FBI's Birmingham Field Office, and was prosecuted by Trial Attorney D.W. Tunnage of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney George Martin for the Northern District of Alabama.

 

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