A judge questioned a former cop’s apology for attempting to kidnap and urinating on a 12-year-old girl, as she sentenced him to prison for his actions.
Former Cleveland police officer Soloman Nhiwatiwa, 34, was handed a four-and-a-half-year sentence on Tuesday for urinating on a child who didn’t want to get in his car at a bus stop last year.
Nhiwatiwa was off duty when he approached the victim as she sat on a sidewalk waiting for her school bus last August. Nhiwatiwa drove up to her and asked her if she wanted a ride to school, WEWS-TV reported.
She declined multiple times and Nhiwatiwa drove away, but returned on foot to expose himself to the child before urinating on her, an incident he recorded on his cell phone. He then called the 12-year-old a “bitch.”
“I would like to apologize to the victim,” Nhiwatiwa said in court on Tuesday, January 21, Cleveland.com reports. There was a noticeably long pause before Common Pleas Court Judge Wanda C. Jones asked if he wanted to say anything else and Nhiwatiwa added, “I take responsibility for what I did.”
Jones responded by stating that she questioned whether or not Nhiwatiwa was truly sorry for his behavior.
"The court is not convinced of your remorse," she said. "A single prison term for any of these offenses would not adequately reflect the seriousness of your conduct."
Victim statements were read by both parents of the child Tuesday.
"As a parent and as a father, you want to do what you can to protect your child," the girl's father said in his emotional statement. "On that particular day, I feel like I failed her, even though she told me I didn't."
Jones showed sympathy to the victim’s family and the victim and told the girl’s father to extend her apologies to the child for what happened to her.
“She was victimized twice," Jones said in the courtroom, before adding that investigators initially didn't believe the child’s accusations. “The fact that [the report] wasn’t taken right away is quite disturbing to this court.”
A victim advocate read a statement from the girl’s mother which criticized Nhiwatiwa for abusing his badge.
“You deserve to be in jail,” the statement read.
In addition to his prison sentence, Nhiwatiwa must now register as a Tier 1 sex offender for 15 years, reports WBNS, a local CBS affiliate.
Nhiwatiwa initially faced a maximum of seven and a half years in prison for the incident. He took a plea deal in December by pleading guilty to attempted kidnapping, pandering obscenity, disseminating matter harmful to juveniles and endangering children. He has resigned as a Cleveland police officer and his license to be a police officer in all of Ohio. He was immediately suspended without pay following his August arrest.
Before the school bus incident, Nhiwatiwa had already been in his share of trouble. He was disciplined at least four times between when he was hired in 2014 and his arrest last year, according to Cleveland.com.
He was also involved in a fatal shooting in 2012 while working as a security guard at a bar, which resulted in the deaths of two men, according to Cleveland.com. A lawsuit was settled out of court but nobody was ever charged with the murders.
Then, in 2013, while working as a security guard at a private party a man was fatally shot by security guards. Nhiwatiwa was named as one of the defendants in a lawsuit related to that shooting.
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