Ex-officer gets jail time for assault on handcuffed woman

December 22, 2022 GMT

MONTEPELIER, Vt. (AP) — A former Vermont police officer who admitted to striking a handcuffed woman in a holding cell has been sentenced to up to six months in jail.

Jason Lawton 34, a former sergeant with the St. Albans Police Department, was sentenced Wednesday in Superior Court to three to six months behind bars, according to the state attorney general’s office.

Lawton had previously pleaded guilty to misdemeanor simple assault in connection with the November 2019 incident. He faced a maximum of one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. A judge ordered him to report to jail on Jan. 14.

Lawton’s attorney asked for a deferred sentence of up to two years of probation and no jail time, citing Lawton’s commitment to therapy and adherence to court orders, WCAX-TV reported.

The prosecutor sought a six-month sentnece given the “betrayal of community trust.”

Surveillance video shows Lawton pushing the woman and punching her in the face after she stood up and tried to kick him in the cell. He was fired in 2019.