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Former Santa Clara Sgt. and San Mateo Deputy Convicted for Separate Sex Crimes

In two separate trials, two California cops were convicted of unrelated sex crimes just doors down from each other. In one case, former Santa Clara police sergeant, Thomas Leipelt, was convicted for exposing himself to his girlfriend’s co-worker in the back room of her place of employment. According to the co-worker, Leipelt exposed himself and propositioned her for sex just after he finished having sex with his girlfriend in the restroom. He was sentenced to 45 days in jail and lifetime registration as a sex offender. However, Leipelt will be able to appeal his sex offender status after seven years—a possibility contingent on whether he has a spotless probationary record.

Down the hall, San Mateo County Deputy, Galen Underwood, was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison, plus 38 years, for a far more heinous crime. In 2013, the deputy’s secret crimes unraveled after a female relative he had been molesting for six years came forward to her guidance counselor. He was fired from the Sheriff’s department shortly after and has been in custody ever since. The seven charges that Underwood was found guilty of include aggravated sexual assault and assaulting the victim with intent of committing sodomy and rape.

The Leipelt case marks the third time a Santa Clara police officer has been fired for misconduct, following one 14-year officer’s departure for running a chop shop with stolen car parts, and another 25-year veteran’s discharge for shoplifting.

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