State police officer pleads guilty to misconduct in office

Sergeant was accused of grabbing store clerk


A state police sergeant pleaded guilty in Baltimore County Circuit Court yesterday to misconduct in office stemming from a sexual encounter with a convenience store clerk in Reisterstown.

Thomas Hicks Lewis, 47, of Finksburg, entered an Alford plea before Judge J. William Hinkel and was given an 18-month suspended sentence and two years of supervised probation as part of a plea agreement.

Under an Alford plea, Lewis does not admit guilt but acknowledges that prosecutors would have enough evidence to convict him if the case was tried.

Assistant State's Attorney John Cox, in a statement read in court, said Lewis struck up a conversation with a 46-year-old clerk at the Royal Farms store on Route 140 in Reisterstown on Nov. 9.

Lewis, in uniform, pushed the clerk into a back room, grabbed her breast and buttocks and exposed himself, the statement said.

Michael Belsky, Lewis' lawyer, noted that the victim wrote down her name and telephone number for Lewis, and told him where she lived and how long it had been since she had had sex.

Lewis, a 19-year-veteran, was suspended without pay after he was charged in November. He declined to comment yesterday.

He was put back on the payroll yesterday but remains suspended pending an administrative investigation, said Lt. Joseph Barker, a state police spokesman.

The victim was not in court yesterday but said through her lawyer that she endorsed the plea agreement.

"She adamantly denies the notion that it was consensual," said the lawyer, Kathleen Cahill.

Cahill said she has filed formal notices with the state of her intent to sue the state police and Lewis.

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