By Brian Heap
Factfinder 12 Investigator
5:17 PM CST, January 30, 2012
A former Wichita Police Department officer who pleaded guilty to a pair of sex crimes against citizens while on duty and in uniform has been sentenced to 36 months probation.
Joseph Taylor McGill was sentenced Friday morning by Sedgwick County Judge Mark Vining.
Vining ordered McGill to serve 34 months in prison for a count of aggravated sexual battery and another year in jail for a second count of sexual battery. Vining said the decision to allow probation in lieu of incarceration wasn't reached easily.
The judge told McGill he was in a "position of public trust" as a WPD officer and that his victims were "depending" on him for their safety.
McGill's convictions result from two separate incidents while he was on duty. One occurred in November 2010, near the intersection of Seneca and W. 31st St. South. As that case was being investigated, there was a second incident of sexual contact in February 2011.
Wichita attorney Charlie O'Hara represents one of the victims and read a statement on her behalf. “I have no peace. I trust no one,” O'Hara read. The victim asked the court to punish McGill more severely because he was a police officer.
McGill apologized in court. "I am sorry for what I did to both victims," he said. "I know what I did was wrong. I take full responsibility.” McGill told the judge he's received counseling and has been working on himself the past year, becoming a better husband, father and Christian.
McGill, who must now register as a sex offender, hugged friends and family members outside the courtroom. He made no statements to a reporter as he he left the courthouse with his wife.
McGill's attorney, Steve Osburn, said only that he was pleased with the sentence and that it was the right decision.
FactFinder 12 Investigators have learned McGill was served with a civil lawsuit Friday, shortly after his sentencing hearing. The City of Wichita was also served with a "Notice of Claim", the first step toward a civil lawsuit against the city.
FactFinder 12 obtained a copy of the suit, which was filed February 27, 2012 in Sedgwick County District Court. The filing date was exactly one year after the victim alleges she was "wrongfully restrained" by McGill and forced to touch the officer's penis.
According to the suit, the woman was handcuffed, placed in McGill's patrol and driven to her home. The woman was not under arrest and there was no "other legal justification for McGill's use of handcuffs."
The plaintiff's petition further alleges:
"Upon arrival at Plaintiff's residence, McGill escorted Plaintiff from the police vehicle, made her stand beside his vehicle with her back towards him. He then proceeded to unzip his pants and place his penis in the hands of plaintiff, against her will, while she was handcuffed."
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