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Former police chief won't serve jail time for lies

4 years 8 months 3 days ago Thursday, September 18 2014 Sep 18, 2014 September 18, 2014 5:53 PM September 18, 2014 in News
Source: WBRZ
By: Russell Jones & Rob Krieger

SORRENTO - The former Sorrento police chief who admitted he lied to the FBI during a sexual assault investigation won't serve time in jail.

Earl Theriot received two years of probation during sentencing Thursday. He previously pleaded guilty to the federal charges, admitting he lied to investigators who questioned him.

Theriot faced a possible six months in prison, but Judge Brian Jackson took into consideration the fact that he helped the FBI with an ongoing investigation, the target of which is still unclear.  The judge also considered Theriot's military service and poor health when handing down a sentence. 

"Hopefully he won't be defined by this and he won't be, he was given probation today which I think was a just punishment for his crime, he resigned his office and now he's gonna go back home to his family and become a member of his community again," said Roger Jordan, Theriot's attorney.

It may be difficult, though, for Theriot to rejoin that community, even after admitting in court he is an embarrassment to the town of Sorrento.

A woman accused Theriot of sexually assaulting her after he detained her for public intoxication. In a federal lawsuit filed earlier this year, the woman claimed Theriot took her to the police station and sexually assaulted her while she was bound with handcuffs and her belt. She also claimed Theriot hid her under his desk while he met with the mayor, during which she tried to make a phone call for help.

Theriot will have to pay $2,500 in fines and still faces a the suit filed by his victim.

That suit, if it reaches a courtroom, will begin in 2016.

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