Ex-deputy makes plea agreement
BENTONVILLE — A former Benton County Sheriff’s Office deputy was placed on probation and sentenced to 119 days in jail after he admitted he had sexual contact with a teen girl.
Lloyd Sean Chandler, 40, of Farmington pleaded guilty Monday to second-degree sexual assault. He also was charged with distributing, possession and viewing matter depicting sexually explicit conduct involving a child and another count of second- degree sexual assault, b ut those charges were dismissed as part of a plea agreement.
The agreement wa s reached between Shane Wilkinson, Chandler’s attorney, and Stuart Cearley, chief deputy prosecutor, and Carly Marshall, deputy prosecutor.
Chandler agreed to waive his jury trial scheduled to
begin Wednesday. Chandler also said he wasn’t coerced into accepting the plea agreement.
Marshall told Benton County Circuit Judge Brad Karren that Chandler, a Sheriff’s Office deputy at the time of the incident, had a position of trust and authority over the girl and Chandler engaged in sexual contact with her.
Chandler was a sergeant with the special investigations unit at the Sheriff’s Office. He was fired after his arrest.
The teen told police she had sex with Chandler in 2015 at his home and she and Chandler exchanged explicit photographs, according to court documents. The girl told police she met Chandler where she worked, and they began a friendship, according to court documents.
According to court documents, the girl was 16.
The teen spoke in court Monday.
She said Chandler’s actions affected her life in several ways the past two years. She has trust issues and had to deal with bullying because some of her peers blamed her for what happened.
“I loved you and genuinely thought you loved me,” she said. “Now that I’ve been to a therapist, it is clear to me that what you did was wrong. You have made my daily life a constant worry of panic attacks, paranoia and regret that I ever thought I could trust you as an adult and officer.”
Chandler declined an opportunity to speak.
Karren accepted the plea agreement and Chandler’s guilty plea.
Chandler was placed on state supervised probation for five years and he must serve 120 days in the Benton County Jail, but he was given credit for one day served. He will be allowed work release while he serves the sentence.
He will be required to register as a sex offender. Chandler was ordered not to have any contact with the girl. He cannot have any unsupervised contact with any minors except his biological children or stepchildren.