Ex-deputy faces assault charges

A former Sheriff’s Department sergeant has been charged with beating his wife after an alleged incident last month at their Paso Robles home.

William Floyd “Rocky” Souza, 66, has been accused of assault, domestic violence and making criminal threats against his spouse on Oct 10.

Souza has pleaded not guilty to the three felony charges and posted $50,000 bail.

The woman is not being identified by The Tribune because she’s the alleged victim of domestic violence.

The alleged incident happened after an argument escalated between Souza and his wife at their home, according to a Sheriff’s Department incident report.

According to the report, the couple had spoken little to each other over the course of four days before the alleged attack because of ongoing tensions. They had also been drinking that night.

Souza’s wife accused him of slapping her, punching her in the stomach and kicking her several times when she was on the ground.

The alleged victim also said he threatened to kill her if she reported the incident to authorities.

Souza didn’t comment specifically about the case, but told authorities of sometimes being unable to “take it anymore” and that he was tired of being treated the way he was because he had money, the report states.

Souza also said he was hit in the head several times during the altercation, and that the alleged victim grabbed his arms. But he told investigators there was no need to take photographs of any injuries, according to the report.

Investigators documented bruising and swelling to the woman’s face and eyes and lower back.

Souza’s attorney, David Hurst, didn’t return a call Thursday seeking his comment.

The case isn’t the first time that Souza has faced criminal charges.

Souza pleaded no contest in 2007 to misdemeanor false imprisonment after a man alleged that Souza initiated a physical altercation with him at a wedding reception.

Souza was a sheriff’s employee when he entered his 2007 misdemeanor plea; it’s not clear if he was disciplined because Sheriff’s Department officials wouldn’t disclose personnel information about him Thursday.

A no-contest plea results in a conviction without an admission of guilt.