Deputy admits to groping teen girl in fast-food line

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Surveillance video shows deputy Timothy Wilson Jr. just before he inappropriately touched a girl at a fast-food restaurant in Vista. (Credit: San Diego County Sheriff’s Department)

VISTA, Calif. — A sheriff’s deputy who groped a teenage girl while standing behind her in a Vista fast-food restaurant line pleaded guilty Wednesday to committing a lewd act with a 14-year-old child and unlawfully taking computer data.

Timothy Nathaniel Wilson Jr., 33, will be sentenced to a year in jail and ordered to register as a sex offender for life at a hearing Oct. 31.

Wilson, a 10-year department veteran assigned to detentions enforcement at the Vista Jail, was arrested at his workplace May 18.

The defendant fondled the 14-year-old’s buttocks about 7 p.m. March 21 while in line at Panda Express on Main Street, near South Santa Fe Avenue. A surveillance system at the restaurant captured video of the perpetrator, who hurried out of the business and fled in a black sedan.

In early May, another sheriff’s department employee reported that Wilson possibly was the man in the security camera images, according to authorities.

Prosecutors said the defendant used his unique username and password to log into a sheriff’s department database to access information on the investigation.

Wilson — who was placed on leave and will be on probation for five years — must stay away from the victim for 10 years, Deputy District Attorney Dan Owens said.

Deputy Timothy Wilson, 32, was arrested on May 18 on suspicion of committing a lewd act with a minor.

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