Honolulu, HI – A former police officer indicted for seven counts of sexual assault against a five-year-old girl avoided jail time and made a plea deal that only gives him five years of probation.
He’s also fighting his termination from the police force.
Former Honolulu Police Officer Teddy Van Lerberghe was indicted by an Oahu grand jury in March of 2017 for the alleged sexually assault of the girl from 2004 to 2008, the Associated Press reported.
The indictment charged the 45-year-old Van Lerberghe with seven counts of sexual assault of a five year old, four of which were Class A felonies that carried mandatory 20-year prison terms.
The former police officer turned himself in to authorities soon after he was indicted and was released on a $100,000 bail by Circuit Court Judge James McWhinnie, the Star-Advertiser reported.
Van Lerberghe at first pleaded not guilty to the charges, but ultimately reached a deal with prosecutors and changed his plea to no contest, according to the Associated Press.
His charges were reduced to four Class B felonies, which carried possible sentences of up to 10 years in prison, and three Class C felonies punishable by up to five years in prison.
In exchange for his plea, Van Lerberghe will be sentenced to no more than five years of probation. He will also be ordered to register as a convicted sex offender for life, the Associated Press reported.
Van Lerberghe was a police officer for the Honolulu Police Department from 2007 until he was terminated in May of 2016, Associated Press reported.
Honolulu police fired Van Lerberghe before he had been formally charged and the state’s police union has appealed the termination on the officer’s behalf, the Honolulu Civil Beat reported.
Brooks Baehr, a spokesperson for the Honolulu prosecutor's office, said they would not comment on the case until after Van Lerberghe has been sentenced in August.