Lawyer for Minneapolis cop accused of sex assault: Just 'adults being adults'

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Peter Wold says his client, Minneapolis cop Thomas Tichich, is guilty of nothing more than acting like an "adult."

It was almost three months ago, Christmas, when two women took their story to Minneapolis police. 

They were asking cops to look into a crime by one of their own, Minneapolis Police Department officer Thomas Tichich, a 47-year-old veteran of local law enforcement. (In 2000, Tichich was among a group of Hennepin County Sheriff's deputies sued for excessive force; the lawsuit was later dismisssed.)

As KSTP reports, the women involved say they'd gone out for a night of friendly drinking with Tichich in northeast Minneapolis. 

The trio returned home, and, according to charges filed by the Hennepin County Attorney's office, the two women soon went to bed. Tichich didn't. One woman fell asleep upstairs, only to be woken up by Tichich touching her; she says she told him to leave her alone.

Later, the same woman went to get a glass of water, where she claims she saw Tichich naked, standing over her passed-out friend, "attempting to put [his] penis in the victim's mouth," charges say. The woman says she took cell phone pictures of what Tichich was doing, then kicked him out of the house. 

Tichich's attorney, Peter Wold, tells KSTP the encounter was "consenting and inviting," adding: "I would suggest it was adults being adults." 

Yet one of those adults, the sexual assault victim, was so deeply passed out police called to the scene had to use a pressure point to wake her up. She had no memory of consenting to sex with Tichich. 

Tichich has been charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct and fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct, both felonies. Third-degree assault comes with a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $30,000 fine, and fourth-degree carries a possible sentence of 10 years and/or $20,000.

Tichich has been on leave since the incident happened, and his first court date is today.

Watch KSTP's report below.


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