A retired Navy senior chief in San Diego pleaded guilty to all charges after he was filmed punching a woman in the face, removing his uniform in the courtroom as he was sentenced.
Jerome Sanders, who retired from the Navy in 2018 as a Senior Chief Petty Officer, was finally tracked down and charged after attacking San Diego local Jessica Cox outside of a 7-Eleven back in March.
Cox reportedly confronted Sanders after she was him harassing another woman, later identified to be his fiancee, Joanne Anita Martinez. When Cox threatened to call the police, Sanders told her that he would punch her.
“Okay,” he said. “I’ll punch you, then.”
Sanders delivered two blows to Cox’s face, bruising and cutting her face. When an older woman attempted to help her, Sanders shoved her aside before fleeing.
After police arrived on the scene, Martinez gave authorities a fake name for Sanders. Since then, she was charged with unlawfully resisting, delaying and obstructing a peace officer, and was sentenced to less than two months in jail.
Later arrested and charged with assault, Senior Chief Sanders showed up to court in his military uniform, discarding his medal-adorned jacket as he was sentenced to 45 days behind bars.
According to NBC7, Sanders’ attorney claims that PTSD played a factor in the attack.
Prior to the sentencing, Cox denounced Sanders for wearing his uniform.
“He’s now wearing his uniform trying to come off as if he’s a better man than what he is,” Cox told the courtroom. “That’s unfortunate to the uniform he’s wearing, because he’s not.”
Sanders claimed he did not recall the incident, and turned himself in after he saw the footage.
“I’d just like to say I’m sorry,” he told her. “I don’t know what happened; I didn’t find out until I saw the video. I turned myself in as soon as I found out about it.”
Sanders was reportedly discharged with a service-related disability, and blamed his behavior on a recently issued prescription medication. Prior to the attack, Sanders had sought mental health services.
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