Olathe cop pleads guilty in belt beating case
An Olathe Police Department officer who claimed belt lashings against his girlfriend were part of a consensual, sadomasochistic relationship will avoid jail under the terms of a plea agreement.
Michael E. Percival, 45, pleaded guilty Wednesday before Montrose County Court Judge John Mitchell to a single count of misdemeanor harassment in a deal that calls for no jail, one year of unsupervised probation and 24 hours of public service.
Percival’s attorney, Colleen Scissors, argued Percival’s alleged crimes were instead consensual acts with his girlfriend and consistent with the terms of a contract signed by the couple.
Scissors said her client accepted the plea deal to head off a trial and more potentially embarrassing disclosures. Percival and the alleged victim in the case remain in a relationship, Scissors said.
The officer was placed on unpaid leave from the Olathe Police Department on July 1, 2009, five days after his arrest by Montrose County Sheriff’s Department deputies.
Seventh Judicial District Attorney Myrl Serra, now restrained from the office in the wake of allegations of sexual misconduct involving female staff members, filed charges including counts of harassment and third-degree assault in Percival’s case.
The alleged victim told investigators Percival struck her 50 times on her buttocks with a belt after they argued about a fishing trip on June 15, 2009, according to an arrest affidavit.
The woman produced documents that she described as a contract spelling out Percival’s expectations for her “personal hygiene, general behavior, including sexual behavior and clothing,” while specifying punishments if she failed to meet expectations, the affidavit said. Those included being forced to stand in a corner or being spanked with a belt or another object, among other measures, the affidavit said.
Phone calls Wednesday to the Olathe Police Department weren’t immediately returned.