Ex-Iowa Cop Pleads Guilty to Attacking Woman in Cruiser

DES MOINES, Iowa --

A former Des Moines police officer accused trying to attack a woman in his squad car has struck a plea agreement with the Polk County prosecutors.

Maynard Richardson has pleaded guilty to two serious misdemeanor charges, while prosecutors have agreed to drop a more serious felony charge.

In a written plea, Richardson pleaded guilty to the charges of non-felonious misconduct in office and false imprisonment. Both charges are aggravated misdemeanors, with a maximum penalty of one year in prison. In exchange, prosecutors have dropped the charge of assault with intent to commit sexual abuse, a felony. The charge carries a maximum of five years in prison.

In early February, Richardson stopped a drunken-driving suspect and detained the 22-year-old woman in the back of his locked squad car. According to court documents Richardson pulled into a remote area, climbed into the back seat, and groped the woman.

The woman later called dispatchers to complain and Richardson was charged. Des Moines Police Chief Judy Bradshaw fired Richardson late in February.

Richardson’s trial was set to begin this morning. Richardson’s attorney filed a written plea Friday afternoon. He’ll be sentenced in June. According to court documents, prosecutors will recommend probation and counseling for Richardson.

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