Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Watch Live


Ex-SDPD Officer Who Groped, Detained Women Sentenced To 1 Year In Jail, Probation

Ex-San Diego police Officer Christopher Hays wipes his eyes during his sentencing in San Diego County Superior Court, Sept. 26, 2014.
Ex-San Diego police Officer Christopher Hays wipes his eyes during his sentencing in San Diego County Superior Court, Sept. 26, 2014.

A former San Diego police officer who pleaded guilty to groping and illegally detaining four women while on duty was sentenced Friday to one year in jail and three years probation.

Christopher Hays, 30, pleaded guilty Aug. 22 to false imprisonment and misdemeanor counts of assault and battery under the color of authority by a peace officer.

In his analysis, San Diego Superior Court Judge Charles Rogers said he was disturbed by the fact that after pleading guilty, Hays told a probation officer that "he didn't do anything wrong."


"I'm concerned that Mr. Hays continues to find a lack of insight into his conduct," Rogers said.

Hays was ordered to report for custody next Friday.

Hays broke down and put his head in his hands as Rogers announced the sentence. The defendant's wife sobbed uncontrollably as she left the courtroom.

Before he was sentenced, Hays apologized to the victims and his family for any pain he caused, saying "It's not something I'm very proud of."

Prior to the plea bargain, Hays — who is free on $130,000 bail — was looking at almost four years in prison if convicted.


Three women testified in April that they were groped and forced to perform inappropriate acts after being contacted and searched by Hays between October and December of last year. The four-year veteran resigned the day after he was charged in February.

A fourth woman also claimed Hays groped her after her arrest for shoplifting, according to SDPD Detective Cory Gilmore.

Hays is a former Marine and married father of two, whose father-in-law is Assistant San Diego police Chief Mark Jones. His case is one in a handful of cases involving SDPD officers accused of misconduct in recent years.

The string of SDPD misconduct cases began with ex-Officer Anthony Arevalos. The 18-year veteran was convicted in November 2011 of felony and misdemeanor charges involving five women he pulled over in the Gaslamp Quarter, including multiple counts of sexual battery by restraint, asking for a bribe, and assault and battery by a police officer. He is now in prison.

Hays' sentencing comes one day after the City Attorney's Office released that the city will pay $5.9 million to settle a federal lawsuit filed by one of Arevalos' victims. It is the more recent of about a dozen settlements reached between the city and women connected to the case.

The city's insurance carriers is expected to pickup around $5.7 million of the settlement, leaving the city to pay around $200,000.

City Attorney Jan Goldsmith said that in all the Arevalos cases combined, including settlement and expenses, the city has had to shell out around $4 million.

10News contributed to this report.