A former Texas cop in El Paso convicted of raping a woman he encountered during a domestic violence call has dodged jail time in the case — and will instead serve 10 years of probation.
William Ollie Alexander, a former officer in El Paso, was convicted of sexual assault Thursday by a jury of eight men and four women. The disgraced law enforcement officer got a 10-year suspended prison sentence Friday, meaning he’ll spend a decade on probation, the El Paso Times reports.
In non-capital cases, a defendant in Texas has the right before trial to elect to have a jury rather than a judge decide their sentence. Alexander opted for a jury, according to Claudia Duran, a spokeswoman for the El Paso County District Attorney’s Office.
Alexander, who was convicted of sexually assaulting the victim in March 2018, will also have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
“I used to be trusting,” the victim said of the attack that occurred in West El Paso hours after Alexander gave the woman his phone number and picked her up. “I thought everyone was nice and would be helpful, but now I know it is not like that.”
The woman is now afraid to start her own family and have children, she testified.
“This is something I will never forget,” she said in court. “It was the worst day of my life.”
The sentence was handed down after Alexander’s father pleaded for a no-jail punishment due to fears for his son’s safety behind bars, the newspaper reports.
“I understand he made a moral mistake,” William Ollie Alexander III said. “My son is a law enforcement officer. I think you, I and all the men and women of the jury know what happens to law enforcement officers in prison.”
Attorneys for Alexander also alluded to those safety concerns, saying that any prison term could “result in a death sentence” for the crooked cop.
“It doesn’t matter how many years,” attorney Omar Carmona said. “He will go to the penitentiary as [a] former police officer. He is going to be there with gang members. Yes, it’s because of his actions, but remember any prison sentence is a death sentence.”
Prosecutors, meanwhile, had sought at least 15 years in prison for Alexander, the newspaper reports.
The former cop and married father of two became emotional during Friday’s sentencing. Alexander — who faced up to 20 years — must also pay a $10,000 fine, KFOX-TV reports.
“[Jurors] recommended that sentence be suspended to 10 years of probation,” Carmona told the station. “They understand not all sexual assaults, even if there is a guilty verdict, warrant a prison sentence and this was one in which a jury felt that this is a case where Mr. Alexander should not go to prison and should serve in the community.”