Sheriff’s Deputy Facing Charges for Molesting 11-yr-old Girl

Almendra Carpizo |

BUTTE COUNTY — A Butte County Sheriff’s Office deputy is facing allegations that he molested an 11-year-old girl, according to authorities.

thomas sylviaThomas Michael Sylvia, 37, was taken into custody Monday following a seven-month investigation by the Chico Police Department.

Sylvia appeared in custody Thursday in Butte County Superior Court. Defense attorney Jodea Foster, who was retained to represent Sylvia, entered a not guilty plea to the single felony count of committing a lewd act on a minor under 14.

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Retired Judge Steven Howell granted Sylvia’s release with a promise to return to court. There were also conditions that the defendant stay away from the child, the child’s school and residence, deputy district attorney Jennifer Dupre-Tokos said outside of court.

Foster said releasing Sylvia on his own recognizance was appropriate, given the defendant’s history and because his family is here.

The prosecution objected to the defendant’s release, primarily due to the nature of the case.

The father of the child also told the court the defendant had contact with the child the Sunday prior to Sylvia’s arrest.

The child’s family had been at the defendant’s residence.

The judge noted there were strong conditions on Sylvia’s release and asked the father if he knew whom to speak with if there was a possible violation of the agreement.


In late April, Sylvia became the subject of an investigation into an allegation of lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14 years of age, Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey said.

The incident is alleged to have occurred on April 26 when an 11-year-old girl slept over at Sylvia’s residence, Ramsey said. The girl stated someone snuck into the bedroom and touched her inappropriately.

The girl told her father about what happened the morning following the alleged act, deputy district attorney Stacy Edwards said at her office. The father contacted Chico police, leading to the investigation.

Sylvia’s case has taken this long because the child was initially unable to identify who touched her, Ramsey said during a telephone interview. A DNA was ordered and sent to the state Department of Justice. It came back a week or two ago, he added.


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Ramsey explained that the DNA obtained is “touch DNA” that came from an article of clothing.

It’s believed the DNA came from his hand after he allegedly touched her in an intimate area, he said.

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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 5618 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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