- Associated Press - Friday, December 18, 2015

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - A former deputy sheriff has been convicted of sexually abusing women he encountered during traffic stops.

The Alabama Attorney General’s Office says former Bibb County deputy sheriff Ervin Heard was convicted Thursday of custodial sexual misconduct, sexual abuse, human trafficking, intimidating a witness, unlawful imprisonment and harassing communications.

Authorities say seven women testified that 44-year-old Heard solicited sexual favors in exchange for not taking them to jail for criminal offenses.

Authorities say Heard took at least one victim to the sheriff’s office in his patrol car and forced her to perform a sex act.

Officials say Heard was fired from the department in 2013. Charging documents also identified Heard as the pastor of a church in Centreville.

Heard’s sentencing is set for May 23.

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