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9:30 AM: Sentencing begins for former cop convicted of gross sexual imposition

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Posted at 9:30 AM, Feb 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-28 09:30:11-05

CLEVELAND — The former Cleveland police officer found guilty of two counts of gross sexual imposition earlier this month will be sentenced Monday.

Matthew Piter, 28, was originally indicted on three counts of rape and one count of gross sexual imposition in two separate incidents that happened in 2017 and 2019.

The sentencing is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. Watch it live in the media player below:

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Judge John J. Russo found Piter not guilty on two counts of rape from an incident that happened between May 1 and May 31, 2017. Lauren Little said Piter sexually assaulted her inside her home. Russo said the evidence presented for the two counts rape did not rise to the acceptable legal standard to find him guilty.

On the other count of rape and the count of gross sexual imposition, both charges that stemmed from an incident on Oct. 24, 2019 involving a woman he met on Tinder, Russo said that while he found the evidence credible and the victim's testimony credible, it was not enough for the indicted charge of rape, but to a lesser offense of gross sexual imposition.

Russo said there was sufficient evidence to find Piter guilty of the other count of gross sexual imposition.

Despite the outcome, Little said she's grateful for the support she's received from prosecutors and is ready to move forward.

"I'm really thankful that they believed us and listened to our story and let us tell our side of the story. And my hope is that just any woman, man out there, child out there is okay with telling their story so you don't wait the five years and you get to get justice for something that happened to you," said Little.

Piter resigned from the Cleveland police department on Feb. 7. according to the department.

With the ruling, Piter will be required to register as a tier one sex offender for 15 years.

RELATED: Cleveland officer found guilty of 2 counts of gross sexual imposition; rape charges dismissed

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