Ex-cop avoids jail time for child sex assaults

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HONOLULU (AP) — A plea deal with prosecutors will allow a former Hawaii police officer to serve probation rather than jail time for sexually assaulting a child, reports said.

Teddy O. Van Lerberghe, 45, reached an agreement guaranteeing a five-year probation sentence with no jail, news outlets reported Wednesday.

The plea deal requires the former Honolulu officer to register as a convicted sex offender for life.

An Oahu grand jury indicted Van Lerberghe in 2017 on seven counts of sexual assault of a 5-year-old girl from 2004 to 2008. Four of the charges were Class A felonies carrying mandatory 20-year prison terms.

Van Lerberghe initially pleaded not guilty, but changed his plea to no contest after reaching the deal with prosecutors.

The charges were reduced to four Class B felonies punishable by up to 10 years in prison and three Class C felonies punishable by up to five years in prison.

Van Lerberghe served in the Honolulu Police Department from 2007 until he was fired in 2016.

The Honolulu Department of the Prosecuting Attorney will not comment until after Van Lerberghe is sentenced by a judge in August, spokesman Brooks Baehr said.

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