Saturday, December 12, 2009

Tampa Bay area sheriff's deputy sentenced to 5 years for sex assault of motorist

Circuit Judge Wayne S. Timmerman sentenced a former Hillsborough County deputy to 5 years in prison and 10 years of sex offender probation Thursday, December 10. Raymond Choy, 38,  faced 30 years for sexual battery and another 30 years for kidnapping before the plea deal. Choy's attorney, Normal Canella Sr, said that his client's deal was appropriate "in view of the totality of circumstances. My client is pleased and certainly should be pleased by the outcome."

Assistant State Attorney Rita Peters said prosecutors decided to offer the deal after reviewing all the circumstances in the case. Peters said she explained the agreement to the victim.

Authorities say Choy was investigating a hit-and-run when the assault happened on April 1, 2007. He ran the license plate of the car that drove away and went to the owner's home, where he took a woman into custody.

She told investigators that Choy took her to the accident scene and then drove to orange groves in Thonotosassa, telling her she wouldn't be arrested if she cooperated. She immediately called the sheriff's office after Choy took her back home. Investigators took samples from the woman's hair and arm. Choy's DNA matched those swabs.

Choy, a seven-year veteran, was placed on administrative leave before resigning.

The victim, flanked by her boyfriend, said that Choy "ruined my life. As a deputy, he was there to protect and serve. He didn't do that."

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