Former Chicago police officer sentenced to prison for on-duty sexual assault

A former Chicago police officer was sentenced to a year in prison on Friday for sexually assaulting a woman while on duty.

The incident occurred on March 5, 2019, when James Sajdak, who was on duty at the time and driving a marked squad car and wearing a police uniform, approached the victim in the city's West Garfield Park neighborhood.

According to prosecutors, Sajdak told the victim, "You can get in the front seat or you can get in the back," implying that compliance would avoid arrest. The victim got in his vehicle and Sajdak drove to an abandoned lot where he forced the victim to engage in a sex act.

"Defendant abused the power and responsibility with which he had been entrusted," Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alexandra Morgan and Erika L. Csicsila said in court. "Defendant’s misconduct diminishes the public’s trust in law enforcement and the criminal justice system as a whole."

Sajdak pleaded guilty last year to one count of deprivation of civil rights, a misdemeanor offense.