SAN DIEGO - A San Diego police officer accused of inappropriately touching and sexually assaulting women in their 20s and 30s during pat-down searches is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday at the downtown courthouse.
Officer Christopher Hays, 30, turned himself into authorities Feb. 9 and was booked on suspicion of felony false imprisonment and misdemeanor charges involving four women. Investigators are also looking into claims by two other women, including one who told police that Hays forced her to perform a sex act in the back of his patrol car.
Hays, a former Marine and married father of two whose father-in-law is Assistant San Diego police Chief Mark Jones, posted bail shortly after being arrested. If convicted, he faces 7 1/2 years behind bars.
San Diego police Chief William Lansdowne said Hays would be terminated if the allegations are found true.
Hays had been under investigation on suspicion of improperly touching women while detaining them for various reasons, ranging from a domestic violence call to a suspected shoplifting incident, according to SDPD officials.
He has been on paid leave since the first allegation arose in late December.
In mid-January, the case was forwarded to the San Diego County District Attorney's Office, which was tasked with reviewing it and filing charges. Hays has since been placed on unpaid leave.
Four alleged victims told investigators that Hays, assigned to the Mid- City Division, improperly touched them through their clothing, with no "skin- to-skin contact," Lansdowne said.