Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Retired officer receives jail time

By Jim Hannah
Enquirer staff writer

NEWPORT - A retired Newport police captain pleaded guilty Monday to harassing and stalking a female officer formerly under his command.

The retired captain, Cyril Sykes, can never be a police officer again and is banned from having any contact with the female officer.

Sykes must also serve 30 days of a 12-month sentence in jail and 60 days under home incarceration. The remaining nine months of the sentence were suspended.

Circuit Judge Gregory Bartlett granted a request to allow Sykes to attend classes at nearby Northern Kentucky University while in jail. Bartlett, however, denied a request to allow Sykes to serve his time only on the weekends.

"This ... will protect both the complaining witness and the public at large," said Attorney General Greg Stumbo, whose office prosecuted the case. "People must have confidence in the integrity of law-enforcement personnel, and our action ensures that integrity is maintained."

Sykes retired in December after serving 17 years on the department. He was arrested a week later and charged with felony sexual abuse, punishable by up to five years in prison. The plea agreement reduced that felony charge to misdemeanor charges of harassment and stalking.

The arrest stunned many in the community. Sykes was serving as the department's patrol commander at the time of his retirement.

Police department officials didn't return calls Monday afternoon seeking comment.

Sykes' attorney, W. Robert Lotz of Covington, said the reduced charges in the plea agreement mean Sykes still denies he ever sexually abused or physically injured the female officer. Lotz said Sykes did admit to having a "history" with the woman that included wrongful conduct.

The female officer has filed a civil lawsuit in Campbell Circuit Court. She claims Sykes sexually assaulted her in his office.


E-mail jhannah@enquirer.com

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