A former Hempstead Village police officer whom a Nassau jury convicted of official misconduct and child endangerment after a 2015 off-duty he had with a female restaurant patron got a probation sentence Thursday.
Acting state Supreme Court Justice Meryl Berkowitz told Louis Arcila, 51, of Roslyn Heights, as she sentenced him to 3 years of probation, that she hoped he’d find help for his “drinking problem.”
Prosecutors had accused Arcila of groping a 30-year-old woman outside a Hempstead restaurant, and in front of her two children, while wearing his police badge on his waistband in June 2015.
In March, a jury acquitted Arcila of a third-degree sex abuse charge while finding him guilty of the two other charges against him. All the charges were misdemeanors.
Arcila’s defense attorney, Joseph Lo Piccolo, said after Thursday’s sentencing that his client retired from the police force shortly after his conviction.
The Garden City lawyer had contended during the trial that Arcila wasn’t wearing his police badge on the night in question and never touched his accuser — who he said had motive to lie after starting a civil lawsuit against Arcila.
Arcila declined to comment while leaving Nassau County Court. He had been on desk duty after his arrest and had faced up to a year in jail after his conviction.
Assistant District Attorney Lauren McDonough asked the judge Thursday to put Arcila behind bars for 60 days on top of a 3-year probation sentence.
“This defendant has continued to not take full responsibility,” she said.
The judge also signed orders Thursday compelling Arcila to stay away from the victim and her daughter.
Prosecutors contended during the trial that Arcila approached the alleged victim by questioning what her toddler was wearing inside El Rancho Catracho restaurant on Jackson Avenue.
The victim had dressed her 3-year-old in a diaper and T-shirt on a hot night as she went to pick up her dinner order with her 10-year-old daughter and her adult nephew also with her, McDonough told the jury.
She alleged the off-duty officer followed the victim outside after she went back to her vehicle, knocked on a window, and told her he could give her a ticket “because I like your breasts.”
Prosecutors also had said Arcila got into the vehicle, groping the woman as she resisted and as her 10-year-old told him not to touch her mother.
The district attorney’s office said the encounter ended when the woman’s nephew returned to the vehicle, with Arcila giving the victim a phone number and telling her to call him if she ever needed anything.
Arcila, a father of five, served nine years with the NYPD before joining Hempstead’s police force in 2000.
Arcila is pursuing an appeal, Lo Piccolo said Thursday.
“This is an isolated incident in his life, in his career and it doesn’t speak to the person he truly is,” the defense attorney added.
Nassau District Attorney Madeline Singas called the case “very serious” in a statement after the sentencing, adding that Arcila “abused his authority as a police officer for his own perverse benefit when he acted inappropriately toward a woman in front of her children.”