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Former Fort Collins officer pleads guilty to assault, gets deferred sentence

Valeri Pedraza pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge and was given a deferred sentence of 18 months, court records show.

FORT COLLINS, Colo. — A former Fort Collins Police officer pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge in connection to a reported domestic violence incident in May.

The department said it was made aware of an incident involving Valeri Pedraza, 41, around 11:20 p.m. on May 29. 

She was off-duty at the time of the incident. Because of her employment status, police asked the Larimer County Sheriff's Office to investigate even though the incident happened within city limits. 

LCSO deputies arrested Pedraza, and at that time she was booked into the Larimer County Jail on charges of third-degree assault and domestic violence.

According to an arrest affidavit, the victim reported that she was arguing with Pedraza and that during the argument, Pedraza intended to destroy or damage security cameras outside the home with a large metal rod.

Pedraza also headbutted the victim, resulting in a bloody nose, the affidavit says. 

PREVIOUS: Fort Collins officer accused of headbutting woman during domestic violence incident

Any time a person is arrested for domestic violence in Larimer County, the court issues a protection order limiting contact with the victim, FCPS said.

A day after the incident, on Monday, LCSO learned Pedraza made several phone communications to the victim, which violated that order.

Pedraza was then arrested a second time for violation of a protection order and violation of bail bond conditions.

RELATED: Resources for domestic violence victims, survivors and children

Pedraza entered a guilty plea for third-degree assault and was given a deferred sentence of 18 months, court records show.

Fort Collins Police Chief Jeff Swoboda said on Nov. 9 that Pedraza, who had been on administrative leave since the incident, was fired following an internal investigation. She joined the department in 2019.

"Law enforcement officers take an oath to serve and protect our community with respect and integrity," Swoboda said in November. "Sadly, this officer’s actions violated our policies, and I no longer have faith in her ability to uphold the promise we make to our community. Our commitment to transparency is not contingent upon how it makes us look. We will continue to keep our community informed even when we are not proud of the information."

Janet Oravetz contributed to this report.

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