D.C. officer guilty in assault case
A District police lieutenant was found guilty of misdemeanor simple assault Monday for pulling a female sergeant onto his lap while on duty at the Fifth District station in Northeast in June 2008.
Burley Sanders, 46, received the verdict from D.C. Superior Court Judge Stuart Nash. Nash found Sanders not guilty of a related misdemeanor sexual abuse charge in the non-jury trial.
Sanders has been on the force since 1988. Sgt. Dawn Brown, 41, a 20-year veteran, told the court that Sanders was in her office sitting in her desk chair when she came in to pick up paperwork that was on her desk. Sanders grabbed her belt loops and pulled her onto his lap, making sexual contact, she said.
In an arrest report, police investigators wrote that Sanders had told police officials in an e-mail that he had been leaning on a table. As he tried to brace himself and regain balance, according to his account in the arrest report, he grabbed Brown and she fell onto his lap moments later.
Sentencing is set for Sept. 10.
“I am pleased with the judge’s decision,” said Brown, who now works at the central cell block, on Tuesday.Sanders had been assigned to desk duty in the Third District in Northwest while the case was pending.
Reached at his home Tuesday afternoon, Sanders said the conviction meant he would face a police trial board to determine sanctions that could including firing. Police spokesman Lt. Nicholas Breul confirmed the review.
Sanders has received departmental honors for work he did in the Trinidad neighborhood, including work on a burglary case and on a series of roadblocks established in 2008 to control outbursts of violence, a measure later ruled unconstitutional by a federal court.
-- Mary Pat Flaherty
Washington Post Editors
August 24, 2010; 5:39 PM ET
Categories: From the Courthouse , Mary Pat Flaherty , The District
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