MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A jury has found a Minneapolis police officer guilty of sexually assaulting a woman after a night of drinking, according to the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.
Thomas Robert Tichich, 48, was specifically found guilty of two counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct in connection to the December 2016 incident. Following the verdict, Tichich was fired from the police department.
Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said Thursday that Tichich’s conduct was “more than concerning” and should not be taken as a reflection of the department.
“We will continue to focus on increasing public trust in light of this troubling case,” he added.
According to a criminal complaint, Tichich was drinking in northeast Minneapolis on Dec. 16, 2016, with two women, one of which invited her companions to stay at her nearby home because they had had too much to drive.
Tichich was told he could sleep on a small couch while the women slept separately, one in her bed and the other on a couch in another room.
In the middle of the night, Tichich allegedly knocked on the bedroom door of the woman who invited him over, and she told him to go back to the small couch.
Later, the woman told police that she woke up to find Tichich touching her arm. She said she yelled at Tichich, told him to get out and went to another room. She tried to sleep, but couldn’t.
Unable to rest, the woman went to tell Tichich to leave. But when she got up to look for him, she found him naked, leaning over the other woman, who was unconscious on the couch.
The woman took photos of Tichich, the complaint states. She then ordered Tichich to leave and called police. The man left without his shoes or his phone.
When officers arrived, they had trouble waking the victim. When she did come to, the woman was “confused and did not understand what was happening,” the complaint states. She said she did not consent to anything sexual with Tichich, nor had she had any past relationship with him.
The next day, Tichich emailed the woman who kicked him out, asking if she had is phone. He added: “My drunk ass had way to (sic) much to drink. I apologize.”
In court, Tichich testified that the sex was consensual.
Tichich could face up to 15 years in prison per charge. Sentencing is set for May 20. Minnesota guidelines recommend 48 months in prison.