- Associated Press - Thursday, April 9, 2015

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A former Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper accused of forcing female motorists into sexual acts in exchange for dropping traffic charges was sentenced to five years in federal prison Thursday for violating their civil rights.

Bryan D. Lee, 31, had pleaded guilty in October to four counts of violating the civil rights of the women motorists and one count of cyberstalking involving threatening messages sent to a woman he had pulled over twice within a month’s time.

A message was left with his attorney Thursday. Court records show the attorney, Jonathan Tyack, argued for probation instead of prison. He said Lee has been involved in counseling and is unlikely to break the law again.

Lee’s guilty plea followed an investigation into traffic stops performed by him from 2006 through October 2013.

Federal prosecutors said Lee acknowledged forcing women into sex acts while they were under arrest or handcuffed. He also photographed some of the acts.

Lee, whose father was a decorated highway patrolman and who has two brothers currently serving as troopers and a third as a police officer, worked out of the patrol’s Lancaster post. The incidents happened in Fairfield and Licking counties in central Ohio, the patrol said.

A routine inspection of dash cam video uncovered the wrongdoing, the patrol said. Lee was heard asking two women questions inconsistent with a traffic stop involving possible impaired driving, such as where the women had come from and where they were going. Lee later turned off the microphone so no further audio was recorded.

Lee also took a photo of a female passenger without her shirt on in exchange for dropping charges against the driver, the patrol said.

The patrol had asked the FBI for assistance and Lee was placed on desk duty when the investigation began. He then resigned in November 2013 ahead of being fired.

“The oath Bryan Lee took was to uphold the constitution and faithfully, honestly and impartially discharge the duties of a trooper. He alone chose to violate that oath,” said Lt. Craig Cvetan, patrol spokesman. “We are confident justice has been served and he is being held accountable for his actions.”

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