Crime

Paso Robles police sergeant under investigation for sexual assault, DA confirms

Christopher McGuire resigned from the Paso Robles Police Department on Oct. 1 after Sheriff’s Office officials recommended charging him with sexual assault.
Christopher McGuire resigned from the Paso Robles Police Department on Oct. 1 after Sheriff’s Office officials recommended charging him with sexual assault. Paso Robles Police Department

An officer who has been on paid administrative leave from the Paso Robles Police Department since May is under investigation for allegations of sexual assault, the District Attorney’s Office confirmed Wednesday.

The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office has been investigating Sgt. Christopher McGuire for what Paso Robles Police Chief Ty Lewis would only describe as allegations of a “serious criminal act.”

Officials have not released details of those allegations, but on Wednesday, Sheriff’s Office spokesman Tony Cipolla said the results of the agency’s at least three-month investigation into McGuire has been completed and forwarded to the District Attorney’s Office for review and possible prosecution.

Cipolla referred further questions to the District Attorney’s Office and the Paso Robles Police Department.

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Assistant District Attorney Eric Dobroth on Wednesday wouldn’t say whether the Sheriff’s Office recommended the filing of charges against McGuire, but he said that his office is reviewing investigators’ reports for the potential filing of “sexual assault-related charges.”

Lewis was out of the office Wednesday and could not be reached for comment. Cmdr. Stephen Lampe said McGuire will remain on paid administrative leave until the department receives official notice from both the Sheriff’s Office and the DA’s Office regarding the case status.

Once received, Lampe said the Paso Robles Police Department will conduct a personnel investigation using an independent investigator and take appropriate action regarding the findings.

McGuire was hired by the Paso Robles Police Department in December 2012 after beginning his law enforcement career in 2003 with the Farmersville Police Department.

In 2007, McGuire moved to the Porterville Police Department, where he fatally shot an unarmed Tulare man following what local news reports called a confrontation.

The officer was later cleared by a departmental panel, which determined that his actions in the shooing were within department policy, according to local news reports.

Earlier this month, the city of Paso Robles asked a Superior Court judge to block the release of McGuire’s personnel records in an ongoing criminal case in which he was an arresting officer.

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On July 2, an attorney for a Paso Robles man who was arrested by McGuire in April filed a so-called Pitchess motion in Superior Court for disclosure of five years worth of the officer’s personnel records, a motion joined in by the deputy district attorney in the case.

In response, an attorney for Paso Robles filed an opposing motion arguing that not only are McGuire’s personnel records privileged, but the city doesn’t have any records reflecting the allegations recently brought against McGuire.

A judge is expected to rule on the potential release of records in the case Aug. 28. If the defendant’s motion is successful, Lewis said he expects it will be the first of many similar motions to be filed in other ongoing criminal cases related to the officer’s history.

Here are some ways you can help prevent sexual assaults, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office and the Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center. The video "on sexual assault awareness and prevention in Isla Vista" also offers risk-reducti

Matt Fountain 781-7909, @mattfountain1

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