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Ex-Hillsborough deputy to plead guilty to forcing sex act, his attorney says

TAMPA — A former Hillsborough County deputy accused of forcing a woman to perform a sex act on him in his patrol car has agreed to plead guilty to sexual battery and false imprisonment and serve five years in prison, his attorney said.

Raymond Choy faced up to 60 years in prison if convicted at trial of sexual battery and kidnapping. The deal with prosecutors calling for significantly less time likely prompted Choy, 37, to accept the state's offer, said defense attorney Norman S. Cannella Sr.

"It was a significant departure from the potential conviction and a significant sentence," Cannella said.

Choy is scheduled to be sentenced by Circuit Judge Wayne Timmerman on Dec. 10.

A hit-and-run suspect accused Choy of agreeing to release her from custody if she performed oral sex on him. Prosecutors said Choy arrested the woman on April 1, 2007, drove her to the dead end of Jefferson Road in Thonotosassa, then slipped into the back seat and removed her handcuffs.

The deputy drove the woman home after she complied and let her go, authorities said. She later called the Sheriff's Office to report the incident, and authorities arrested Choy when DNA test results linked him to the victim.

In July, Timmerman cleared the way for a second woman to testify that Choy also forced her to perform oral sex on him in his patrol car.

The second woman said in court that while she sat handcuffed in the back of his cruiser, Choy talked to her about a lack of oral sex from his wife. Choy never specifically asked her to perform the sex act, she said. But she did it, she told the judge, because she thought it could mean her freedom.

Choy was never charged in that incident, which prosecutors said took place along the same dark road as the crime to which he is expected to plead guilty.

A seven-year veteran of the Hillsborough Sheriff's Office, Choy had an exemplary record before his arrest.

Kevin Graham can be reached at kgraham@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3433.

Ex-Hillsborough deputy to plead guilty to forcing sex act, his attorney says 10/21/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 21, 2009 11:56pm]
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