A former DeKalb County cop, who was accused of sexually assaulting two women while he was on duty, was sentenced to five years in prison and five years on probation Friday.
On Friday, a DeKalb County jury found Jeremy Reynolds guilty on two counts of violation of oath by a public officer, according to the district attorney’s office. Reynolds was found not guilty of aggravated sodomy, officials said.
“Reynolds took an oath to protect and serve the people of DeKalb County. Instead, he used his badge to attempt to subject women to unthinkable acts while on duty,” District Attorney Robert James said in a prepared statement. “It’s always disheartening to see sworn officers violate the public’s trust.”
Reynolds, while on duty, approached two different women on different occasions and asked them for sexual favors, prosecutors said.
During the sentencing hearing, one of the victims pleaded with the judge to send Reynolds to jail, spokesman Erik Burton said.
“I think I was in a place where God let this happen to me so I could stand up for other women who he may have done this to,” said Yvonne Ruiz who was propositioned by Reynolds in 2010.
Reynolds admitted to having sexual contact with two women while on duty, his attorney said Tuesday, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. But the ex-cop did not understand that his words could be used to prosecute him, the attorney said. He later denied assaulting the women.
Reynolds, a police officer of almost three years, said he was unfamiliar with the Miranda statement, a warning to a crime suspect that their comments could be used against them.
Officials said Reynolds threatened to arrest a woman if she did not perform oral sex on him and that he arrested another woman because she would not show him her breasts.
According to Assistant District Attorney Leaf Howard, in one incident, the woman was sitting in the back seat of his patrol car, parked behind a grocery store, and he was standing just outside the car door.
Reynolds’ lawyer Jackie Patterson said Reynolds admitted he asked the woman, a known prostitute, to perform sex on him, but he didn’t offer anything in exchange for the favor, the AJC reported. “She is a prostitute, a street walker. She solicits business regularly on Memorial Drive. (Reynolds) made the worst judgment of (his) career,” Patterson said.
Still, the ex-cop said he never tried to force the woman. But prosecutors said Reynolds took advantage of the woman, thinking no one would believe her.
The second woman had been stopped for speeding on I-285 on Jan. 22, 2010 when Reynolds discovered there was an outstanding warrant for her from Clayton County where she was already on probation for speeding.
Prosecutors said he used that as leverage, threatening to arrest the woman if she did not show him her breasts. At the time, Ruiz, a 20-year-old wife and mother, was handcuffed and in the backseat of his patrol car, they said. She told him she would rather go to jail, prosecutors said.
“She starts to cry. He pulls her out of the car. He takes her shirt and lifts it up so her bra is exposed,” Prosecutor Howard said. “He pats her down a second time… He does an underhand search where he feels the bottom of her breasts.”
Patterson told the jury Ruiz had told the officer she was going to claim he was inappropriate with her if he arrested her, the paper reported.
“Hopefully this sentence will offer the victims and their family some level of closure,” James said.