LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - A former Kentucky State Police trooper faces sentencing in November after pleading guilty to trying to persuade someone to lie to a federal grand jury about his forced sexual contact with a confidential informant.
Jason Christopher O'Bannon, 33, told U.S. District Judge Jennifer Coffman that in July 2005, he forced a woman to kiss him and then tried to persuade a witness to lie to a federal grand jury about the incident.
"I kissed a cooperating witness that didn't want to be kissed and tried to persuade someone not to testify against me," O'Bannon told the judge on Friday.
According to a press release, O'Bannon had an undercover informant make drug purchases and then asked the woman to come to his home so they could discuss her work. O'Bannon then grabbed her and kissed her against her will.
O'Bannon then asked a fellow state trooper to lie to government investigators and provide a false alibi for him, according to the release.
O'Bannon pleaded guilty to a criminal information, meaning he was not charged by a grand jury but voluntarily came forward and pleaded guilty to tampering with a witness and deprivation of rights under the color of law.
O'Bannon recently resigned as a police officer, said David S. Hoskins, his lawyer.
"He is very remorseful about what he did," Hoskins said Friday after the hearing. O'Bannon had been a state police trooper since July 1996 and spent much of his career at the London state police post.
O'Bannon is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 16. He could face a maximum of 11 years, but Hoskins said his client had no criminal history and it is unlikely that he will receive the maximum sentence. O'Bannon was released on his own recognizance.
--- Information from: Lexington Herald-Leader, www.kentucky.com
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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