Sunday, November 1, 2009

Former police officer sentenced to year behind bars for assaulting woman

On Thursday, October 29, a former police officer was sentenced to a year in prison with 14 more years suspended for sexually assaulting a 18 year old woman that he knew. Ronald M. Hendrickson, 47, a former Newport News police lieutenant, was sentenced Thursday in York-Poquoson Circuit Court by Substitute Judge Thomas Nance. After the prison time, Hendrickson must register as a sex offender and seek sex offender treatment at his own expense, and stay away from the Internet, with a polygraph to monitor this condition. If Hendrickson violates any supervision conditions, then "I'm going to give you the other 14 years," Judge Nance promised.

Last month, Hendrickson pleaded guilty to a single felony charge of object sexual penetration as part of a pre-arranged agreement. In exchange, Simantov dropped felony charges of possession of child pornography, filming a non-consenting nude minor and production of child pornography.

The charges stemmed from the woman's accusation that Hendrickson tried to force himself on her after she rejected advances he made after the pair drank alcohol together.

Early in the case, Simantov declined to prosecute felony charges of abduction and abduction with intent to defile and misdemeanor sexual battery that were brought in conjunction with the accusation. The child pornography charges were filed in April after the discovery of a video that depicted the victim while she was still a minor.

At the time of his arrest, Hendrickson was a patrol supervisor assigned to the Newport News Police Department's South Precinct. His employment with the department ended in February.
Hendrickson said that the offense was due to mishandling of job-related stress, particulary the death of a colleague. He has started attending AA meetings, counseling, and reparing his familial relationships. This was echosed by his father, Harold Hendrickson, who said his son told him, "Dad, I feel dead inside. I don't have any emotions."
However, Simantov said that the betrayal of trust outweighed any mitigating circumstances. "He's someone who knew what he was doing. He knew it was criminal. He chose to betray his badge."

No comments: