A former San Diego police officer jailed last fall for groping and illegally detaining four women while on duty was set free Monday, seven months before the scheduled end of his sentence.
Christopher Hays, 31, was released from San Diego Central Jail shortly before 7 a.m., sheriff’s spokeswoman Jan Caldwell confirmed. She declined to say why his custody term had been cut short.
As Hays began his custody term, his attorney, Kerry Armstrong, told reporters his client could be out in six months if he accumulated enough good-behavior credits.
Hays pleaded guilty last August to false imprisonment and misdemeanor counts of assault and battery under the color of authority by a peace officer. He turned himself in at the downtown courthouse Oct. 3 to begin serving his one- year sentence, which included three years of probation.
Last spring, three women testified that they were groped and forced to perform sexual acts after being contacted and searched by the four-year police department veteran, who resigned the day after he was charged in February 2014.
A fourth woman also said Hays groped her after her arrest for shoplifting, according to SDPD Detective Cory Gilmore.
Another woman, identified in court as “Jane Doe 4,” told the judge she had trouble sleeping in her own bed after Hays followed her to her apartment and had her expose her breasts and told her to touch his crotch.
Deputy District Attorney Annette Irving said Hays was banking on his belief that his victims would never tell what he did to them.
At his sentencing, Hays apologized to the victims and his family for any pain he caused.
“It’s not something I’m very proud of,” he said.
Armstrong said Hays and his wife planned to sell their house and move back to Arkansas, where he grew up.
— City News Service