Former Little Rock police officer pleads guilty to misdemeanor harassment

A 27-year-old North Little Rock man accused of sexually assaulting a woman while working as a Little Rock police officer pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of misdemeanor harassment on Wednesday and was sentenced to probation.

Alexander Louis Sanders had been charged with second-degree sexual assault over allegations he fondled and kissed a woman while on duty in January 2021. The charge is a Class B felony that carries up to 20 years in prison. Misdemeanor harassment is Class A misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of one year in jail.

Represented by defense attorney Jim Wyatt, Sanders accepted a sentence of a year on probation and a $1,500 fine.

At Sanders’ four-minute plea hearing before Pulaski County Circuit Judge Cathi Compton, deputy prosecutor Melissa Brown told the judge Sanders was admitting to engaging in conduct with “the purpose to harass, annoy, or alarm another person.“

Sanders, who had been married for more than two years when he was arrested, resigned after his accuser, a 43-year-old Little Rock woman, reported him to authorities in January 2021. He was placed on paid leave two days after the encounter with the woman and later resigned. He joined the force about 16 months before the woman was assaulted.

Sanders was arrested in June 2021 and spent two days in jail before being released on $50,000 bond. The arrest came following an investigation by detective Chris Henderson and a review of the detective’s findings by prosecutors.

Henderson’s inquiry was launched when the woman came forward to report that Sanders had groped her on New Year’s Eve 2020, five days earlier.