In a verdict likely to spark arguments of the punishment not fitting the crime, a former El Paso cop received a suspended sentence after being convicted of sexual assault.

Former El Paso police officer William Ollie Alexander was convicted last week of the March 2018 sexual assault of a woman he met while responding to a domestic violence call. Alexander reportedly gave the woman his phone number, picked her up a few hours later, and then sexually assaulted her in a dark area in West El Paso. Alexander's wife and children were in the courtroom when the verdict was read.

According to the El Paso Times, during the sentencing phase, Alexander's father spoke to the court, pleading for mercy in the punishment, saying that sending a former officer to prison is dangerous,

I understand he made a moral mistake. 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.

Alexander's father also tried to humanize his son to the jury, saying losing his position as a police officer has been hard Alexander,

It was a fulfillment of a lifelong desire. He wanted to serve and protect. It has been devastating knowing he won’t be able to be have his career. It is just heartbreaking.

The defense attorneys repeated the fear of sending a former officer to prison, saying it would likely be a death sentence for Alexander,

Any sentence you give Mr. Alexander could result in a death sentence. It doesn't matter how many years. He will go to the penitentiary as former police officer. He is going to be there with gang members. Yes, it is because of his actions, but remember any prison sentence is a death sentence.

The victim also testified, telling the jury the impact the assault has had on her for the last two years, and will continue to have for the rest of her life,

I used to be trusting. I thought everyone was nice and would be helpful, but now I know it is not like that. My intimacy went away for a long time. I didn’t want any guy around me. That’s not right. I shouldn’t have to feel that way.

This is something I will never forget. It was the worst day of my life.

The jury ultimately decided on a 10-year suspended sentence, meaning Alexander is basically on probation for the next decade. He will also have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

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