DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - A former DeKalb County police officer has been found not guilty of forcing women to give sexual favors to avoid going to jail.
However, Jeremy Reynolds was found guilty of two counts of violation by oath of public officer when the jury returned its verdict Friday morning. The judge sentenced him to 10 years in prison. He also must surrender the certification needed to be an officer in Georgia.
Reynolds faced life in prison if convicted on the sex-related charge.
Before sentencing, Reynolds apologized.
“I apologize to everybody that I caused to be here. I’m just asking for the mercy of the court,” he said.
His mother also asked for leniency.
“He’s not a person that would harm a fly,” she said.
During deliberations on Thursday, the jury asked the judge to be able to hear the entire recorded interview of Reynolds, and they did for two hours, listening intently and taking notes.
Reynolds sat alongside his attorney, Jackie Patterson, having to hear it all over again.
In the two hour-long audio taped interview with detectives, Reynolds describes his entire encounter with Yvonne Ruiz, who sat in the courtroom.
"We got plenty of detail from her and a lot of vagueness from you," a detective said in the recording.
Reynolds was accused of sexual misconduct while on duty. He admitted on the stand to having consensual sex while on duty with a homeless drug addict, calling it a big mistake.
"Yes, I had sex with her on duty," Reynolds tells the detective in the recording.
Reynolds admitted to having sex on duty with two or three other women, but he said the tables were turned with Ruiz, when he made a traffic stop with her.
Jurors heard the timetable description of the traffic stop, but there was a window of time where Reynolds could not provide information.
“I want to know what happened in these 13 minutes, because 13 minutes is an awfully long time,” the detective said on tape.
Reynolds made an admission at the end of the tape.
At one point in the taped interview, Reynolds says that's it's so hard to prove you're innocent when you are.
Patterson called the “not guilty” verdict a huge victory.
“We knew all along that he used very bad judgment but he did not commit a sexual assault and the jury saw through that," she said.
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