OGDEN — As the judge called his case number, Ken Hammond stood up from the audience and began the long walk to the podium to face his sentence.
He passed the sort of people he had once arrested as an Ogden police officer — people facing charges for DUI, assault and domestic problems. This time, he was the one facing a charge.
The ex-cop who was hailed as a hero for stopping the killing spree at the Trolley Square mall was sentenced to 90 days in jail on Tuesday, having pleaded no contest to a class A misdemeanor charge of sexual battery.
"There are a lot of good people who do bad things," 2nd District Judge Pamela Heffernan told him.
Hammond, 35, was ordered to report to the Weber County Jail on April 29. He will be allowed out of jail to go to work each day, and he will remain on probation for a year. He was also ordered to pay a $370 fine, undergo a mental-health evaluation and pay for counseling for his victim.
Hammond was originally charged with unlawful sexual conduct with a 16- or 17-year-old, a third-degree felony, but struck a plea deal with Weber County prosecutors. In 2005, the officer responded to a disturbance at an apartment where a 17-year-old girl had been staying with her friend. He ran background checks and left, but returned two hours later.
Prosecutors said that the girl performed oral sex on Hammond, at the encouragement of others at the apartment.
"This case is not the fault of the victim. The law protects a 17-year-old girl from a 32-year-old," prosecutor Sandra Corp said. "As a police officer, he was in a position to know this was wrong."
Hammond said nothing during his sentencing and declined to talk about it outside of court. Supporters flooded the judge with letters, including one from Stacy Hanson, who was shot during the mall massacre. Hanson wrote that if it weren't for Hammond's actions, he would be dead.
Hammond was decorated as a hero for his role in ending the 2007 shooting rampage at the Trolley Square mall. The officer was off duty and on an early Valentine's date with his wife when Sulejman Talovic, 18, entered the mall and began shooting.
Five people were killed and four were wounded before Hammond got into a shootout with Talovic, keeping him distracted until Salt Lake police arrived. Talovic was shot and killed by police.
On Tuesday, as Hammond stood silently before the judge, his lawyer, Brenda Beaton, said, "He has been punished already." She noted Hammond's notoriety and the "media onslaught" that has followed him since his heroic actions at the Trolley Square mall. Hammond quit the Ogden police force and will never be a police officer again in Utah.
The alleged victim in the case did not show up to speak, and in a letter, supported a sentence that is proportionate to what others facing a misdemeanor charge would receive, Beaton said. She reported the actions years after they occurred.
Hammond also is facing a civil lawsuit from another woman accusing him of misconduct.
Heffernan said that because Hammond was a police officer and on duty, his case was more egregious. His actions at Trolley Square, she said, "to some degree are irrelevant in this case."
Beaton said that if sentenced to jail time, Hammond would become an immediate security risk.
"In light of the fact that you are recognizable, that makes you more vulnerable," Heffernan said, giving Weber County authorities options for his jail sentence. "They will determine what is most appropriate and safe."
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