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Jury acquits former Lakeport police officer

A jury has acquitted a former Lakeport police officer of theft of government funds for having sex while on the job and working on his home while being paid to be on duty.

Richard Edward Erickson had been charged with embezzlement, misappropriation of government funds, making criminal threats, battery, stalking and violation of a protective order.

The stalking and battery charges were dropped during the trial, which concluded Monday with the jury?s not-guilty verdict, said Deputy District Attorney Rachel Abelson.

During the trial, Erickson admitted to having an extra-marital affair with an 18-year-old woman during work hours, she said. But the contacts were brief ? no more than 20 minutes ? and Erickson implied they constituted breaks, Abelson said.

Erickson told jurors he usually was on patrol when he visited his home outside the city limits during work hours, Abelson said. He also said he may have lost track of time while on his lunch break, she said.

Erickson was fired Oct. 3 following his arrest on the charges. He had been with the Lakeport Police Department for 11 years.

? Glenda Anderson


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