SANTA ROSA (BCN)—A former Novato police officer was sentenced in Sonoma County Superior Court this morning for receiving obscene material depicting a minor in Texas engaging in a sex act and attempted stalking.
Michael Manuel Ramirez, 35, was sentenced to three years’ probation and 90 days in the Sonoma County Jail but has the option of applying for work release instead, Deputy District Attorney Jason Riehl said.
If he is denied work release, Ramirez will perform 300 hours of community service, Riehl said.
Ramirez also will have to participate in a three-year intensive outpatient treatment program for sex offenders.
He was charged on Dec. 29. 2015 with felony possession or control of obscene matter depicting a minor under age 18 engaging in a sex act, felony use of a minor under age 18 to assist or perform sexual conduct and misdemeanor annoying or molesting a minor under age 18. Those charges were dismissed at his sentencing.
Ramirez pleaded no contest to felony attempted stalking and misdemeanor sending of obscene material to a minor.
Ramirez, a member of the Novato Police Department for six years, received messages containing pornographic images by smart phone of a Texas girl under age 13 for several months in late 2014 and 2015, Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety Sgt. Jeff Justice said.
Texas authorities, who pretended to be the girl after her mother discovered the images, traced the recipient to a Rohnert Park internet address, Justice said.
Rohnert Park detectives then were contacted in April 2015 by a computer crimes task force in Texas, Justice said.
Rohnert Park police took Ramirez’s computer and phone at his residence in May and continued the investigation before presenting the case to the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office, Justice said.
Ramirez resigned from the police department on Jan. 29, 2016.