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Officer Convicted in Beating Was Handing Off Parking Placard

2:20 PM EDT on August 21, 2007

From the New York Times, via an eagle-eyed Streetsblog tipster:

A police captain who admitted having a forbidden affair with an officer under his command was convicted yesterday of brutally beating her on a Greenwich Village street.

The jury in State Supreme Court in Manhattan found the captain, Alberto Sanchez, guilty of third-degree assault, a misdemeanor, after about three hours of deliberation. It acquitted him of a second misdemeanor charge, that of unlawful imprisonment.

He faces up to a year in jail at his sentencing on Oct. 18. For now, he is on modified duty and could face departmental disciplinary charges and possible dismissal, according to a police spokesman.

Prosecutors said that Captain Sanchez, 42, a 15-year veteran of the police force, and his accuser, Officer Sharon Gandarilla, 33, a nine-year veteran, had a sexual affair that was at first consensual but turned abusive.

In the confrontation that led to the trial, Captain Sanchez dragged Officer Gandarilla out of a retirement party at a restaurant on Broadway last Sept. 1, forced her into her car and punched and kicked her, because he thought she had been flirting with another officer, the prosecution said.

Witnesses said that Officer Gandarilla was beaten by the driver of her car, he noted. Captain Sanchez testified that during the party, he took the keys to Officer Gandarilla’s car to get an official parking plaque from her glove compartment for a fellow officer to use, even though they were not on official business.

“At no point did we ever see the keys being returned, so he must have been the driver of the car,” Mr. Schlough said.

Also, he said, Officer Gandarilla must have known her assailant, or she would have cried for help instead of accepting the beating, as witnesses described.

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