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New charges filed against deputy accused of groping teen

SAN DIEGO – Prosecutors filed new charges Tuesday against a San Diego County Sheriff’s deputy who is accused of groping a 14-year-old girl in a fast-food restaurant.

Deputy Timothy Wilson, 32,  was arrested on May 18 on suspicion of committing a lewd act with a minor. Prosecutors say Wilson walked into a Panda Express on Main Street in Vista and grabbed the 14-year-old girl’s buttocks while she was waiting in line to order food.

At his arraignment Tuesday, Wilson was charged with one felony count of committing a lewd act with a 14-year-old and one felony count of accessing a sheriff’s computer to take data. Prosecutors said that Wilson downloaded photos of the 14-year-old girl and other information about the case against him and sent the data to a personal email address.

“After the March 21 incident, the defendant personally used his unique username, his user ID, his login to the Sheriff’s database to then access information regarding the ongoing case investigation by the San Diego Sheriff’s Department. He did so on repeated occasions, number 44 times between March 22, 2018 and May 9 of 2018," said Deputy District Attorney Dan Owens. "The Sheriff’s Department detained him and placed him under arrest and in so doing seized his department-issued notepad. On the first page of that department-issued notepad, the defendant had handwritten the sheriff’s case number for this case, the charge of 288 C. lewd act with a 14-year-old minor, as well as the home address of the victim herself.”

Wilson pleaded not guilty to both charges. If convicted on both charges, he could be sentenced to three years and eight months in prison and forced to register for life as a sex offender.

Wilson remains in jail in lieu of $200,000 bail.

The mother of the victim spoke to FOX 5 following the arraignment.

"So relieved that the judge kept the bail where it is so that my daughter can sleep peacefully tonight," said the victim's mother Jenna Tanis. “It’s always been somewhat brought a sense of comfort to us to know that the sheriff’s are right there when we need them, and now we have a sense of betrayal."

She says each day of the investigation she and her family are learning new details about the case.

"He’s a law enforcement officer with an album of pictures of my daughter’s backside. I don’t know how you react to that. I’m just very relieved he won't be on the streets tonight," said Tanis.