Former police officer guilty of harassment
May 23, 2013
The former Lake City assistant police chief will serve no prison time for harassing a woman with hundreds of text messages and photos with offensive comments even though he faced felony charges for trying to cover up the crime, court records show.
Lukas McCollough, 31, of Lake City, pleaded guilty last week to harassment and tampering with a witness and was sentenced Friday to four years of suspended prison. He will not go to prison unless he violates the terms of his probation in the next two years.
McCollough faced four felony charges - two each for bribery and suborning perjury - each of which are punishable by up to five years in prison, but those charges were dismissed in exchange for his guilty plea, court records show.
The victim, a 23-year-old Greene County woman, reported the harassment on Dec. 17. She said she received harassing text messages from several cellphones and that three of her relatives and a neighbor received envelopes that contained photos of her with disparaging comments.
The harassing text messages were sent from unregistered, pre-paid cellphones, one of which a Greene County Sheriff's deputy later found in McCollough's possession, according to court records. The deputy also found on McCollough's computer the photos that had been sent to the victim and another letter to her.
Names and addresses that McCollough allegedly typed on the envelopes that contained the photos were found on typewriter ribbon at the Lake City Police Department, court records show.
McCollough allegedly tried to cover up the crimes by reporting that he also received an envelope with the photos and by asking two women - one of whom nannied his boy - to confess to the harassment. He allegedly offered one of the women $1,000.
The women confessed to the harassment but later recanted and said McCollough bribed them so he wouldn't lose his job, according to court records.
McCollough was fired from his police job in January. He had worked for the department since 2006.
McCollough's guilty plea last week was an Alford plea, in which McCollough didn't admit he committed the crimes but acknowledged that a judge or jury would likely convict him if the case went to trial.
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