A former Los Angeles County sheriff’s sergeant convicted of sexually assaulting a woman and inappropriately searching two others while on duty was sentenced to nine years and four months in state prison.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Sam Ohta also ordered Mark Fitzpatrick to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
Fitzpatrick, 24, was convicted last Oct. 7 of one count each of penetration under threat to arrest, sexual battery by restraint and sexual penetration by a foreign object by force, violence, duress or menace, and three counts of false imprisonment by violence.
The charges stemmed from three traffic stops in May 2008 while he was working out of the Compton sheriff’s station.
Fitzpatrick’s wife, father and father-in-law spoke on his behalf.
My husband is a good man,” his wife, Shelly, told the judge. “He is an extremely hard worker … He treats his family like we are gold. We are everything to him … Everything this case has been — he is so opposite of this.”
His father, Tom, said his son was a “tremendous kid” who never presented any problems to his parents.
The trauma on our family’s been tremendous,” he said.
Deputy District Attorney Natalie Adomian read a statement from a woman who testified during the trial about an April 1999 incident in which Fitzpatrick allegedly had her lift her top and expose her breasts and then digitally penetrated her in an apparent search for drugs. He was not charged with any crime involving that traffic stop.
The woman urged the judge to “impose on this person the maximum sentence for all the damage he has done as much to me as other women victims,” but said she also wanted to “convey a message of hope and gratefulness that our voices have been heard and this person will be punished for what he has done.”
It is a shame how a respected and exemplary member of the community would break all moral and ethical rules and leave so much damage behind,” the woman said in her written statement.
The judge — who denied the defense’s request for a new trial — said he had observed “a lot of pain” on both sides in the case.