Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Hurricane police officer charged with sexual assault on duty sentenced to 60 days jail, 3 years probation

(Original Post 4-4-08)

Nathan Amosa, a 24 year old police officer from Hurricane, UT, was charged with coercing sex from a woman by threatening to cite her for child neglect to obtain sexual favors from his alleged victim. He was on call when he allegedly coerced her into letting him fondle her and perform a sex act.

"Amosa stated that he used his authority and the threat of a citation for child neglect in order to obtain sexual favors from the victim," Washington County sheriff's officials stated.

[He] was charged in 5th District Court in St. George on Monday with forcible sodomy, a first-degree felony; and two counts of second-degree felony forcible sex abuse. He is scheduled to appear in court Thursday.

Hurricane police received a complaint of officer misconduct on Friday, and Amosa was placed on administrative leave. The Washington County Sheriff's Office conducted a criminal investigation, and the case was forwarded to the county attorney's office.

(Update 8-12-09)

Amosa pleaded no contest to custodial sexual relations, a 3rd degree felony, today. Judge James Shumate of Utah's 5th District Court sentenced Amosa to up to 5 years in prison, the standard sentence for a 3rd degree felony. The sentence mandates that Amosa spend 60 days in the Washington County Jail and 3 years probation. Amosa was also ordered to stay away from the victim and not go within 500 yards of her or her residence.

Amosa was originally charged with forcible sodomy, a first-degree felony, and two counts of second degree-felony forcible sex abuse. He entered the no-contest plea after negotiations with prosecutors, his defense attorney and the victim.

According to the probable-cause statement filed with the charges, Amosa admitted to "coercing the victim into oral sex," and said he fondled her and put his mouth on her breasts. He "used his authority and the threat of a citation for child neglect" to gain the sexual favors, the document said.

The victim told investigators Amosa was at her house and on duty when she was assaulted.
The victim was "distraught" when she talked to investigators, telling them she thought she had to comply with Amosa because "he was in uniform and had a gun," according to court documents.

Prosecutor Ryan Shaum, Adult Probation and Parole's pre sentence report, and Amosa's attorney Gary Pendelton agreed to the sentence. Shaum stated that due to the difficulty of proving whether the sex act was coercive or not, "If Mr. Amosa was not in law enforcement, I don't think we'd be here for sentencing for anything."

The victim, her father, and their lawyer, Brandon Simmons, appeared for sentencing. The victim's letter said in part, "I always trusted the police and their integrity, until he entered my home and took that trust away."

The victim's father said about the 60 day sentence, "I don't think he got what he deserved."

No comments: