Verdict in Detective's Assault Trial

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBCSanDiego.com

    A San Diego County Sheriff’s detective is in protective custody after jurors convicted him Monday of felony assault and battery but acquitted him on four other felony charges. 

    Thomas John Sadler, 49, picked up a prostitute in his unmarked car on El Cajon Boulevard and drove her to a Mission Valley parking lot in February 2008.

    Deputy Sex Abuse Trial Begins

    [DGO] Deputy Sex Abuse Trial Begins
    A victim claimed sheriff's detective Thomas John Sadler forced her into his unmarked sheriff's vehicle on El Cajon Boulevard and drove her to a parking lot in Mission Valley. (Published Thursday, Feb 11, 2010)

    Three women testified against Sadler in the trial including one who said he fondled her against her will and told her "B**ch I can do anything I f**king want.” The victim said Sadler told her to take her clothes off so he could search her for narcotics. But the victim said she told Sadler a female officer needed to be present. The woman then said Sadler began fondling her, so she jumped out of the vehicle to take a picture of his license plate with her cell phone.

    Sadler allegedly struggled to grab the phone, but another car drove up and Sadler took off.

    Defense attorneys said Sadler did pick up the woman for sex because he was deeply depressed but they say Sadler lost his nerve when they got to Mission Valley.

    Jurors acquitted Sadler of felony sexual battery but convicted him of felony assault and batter and two misdemeanors.

    Sadler will not need to register as a sex offender, according to his defense attorney MaryEllen Attridge. Because he is law enforcement, Sadler will be put into protective custody, according to his attorney.

    Attridge believes her client, who is 49, faces probation and local custody at sentencing. Prosecutors said Sadler faces up to three years in state prison.

    Sadler is currently on unpaid administrative leave from the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.