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Alleged victim angered over officer's possible plea bargain | Crime

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Alleged victim angered over officer's possible plea bargain
Crime

MODESTO, CA - The woman at the center of an alleged sex assault by a former Modesto police officer worries the charges he faces will be reduced to misdemeanor counts.

The ex-officer, Lee Freddie Gaines, faces charges of oral copulation by force, being armed with a firearm while committing a sexual offense, sexual battery and assault under color of authority.

The alleged victim, 37-year old Sherry Newton, who acknowledges she was working as a prostitute, said Gaines came to a motel for her services, then handcuffed her and sexually assaulted her.

She said she received a call from the Stanislaus District Attorney's Office on Wednesday informing her the charges were going to be reduced to misdemeanor counts, including one for soliciting sex.

Newton said Gaines never bothered to ask her for sex when he put the handcuffs on her and assaulted her.

"He had me handcuffed and I couldn't fight back. And now they're telling me he gets to get away with this, he gets to rape me and walk away with nothing happening to him.," Newton said Thursday.

Newton has filed a civil rights lawsuit in federal court asking for $4 million in damages.

Calls to officials with the Stanislaus County D.A.'s Office were not returned Thursday evening. 

A pre-trial hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on Friday.

Newton said the attack has left her deeply traumatized.

"I very rarely sleep at nighttime. I will have a lifetime now, what part of my life I have left, I will have mental problems because of what he did to me," Newton said.

Newton said the assault led her to leave Modesto, where she grew up, and move to New Mexico.

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