SAN JOSE -- A judge on Monday set bail at $50,000 for a Santa Clara police sergeant convicted of misdemeanor indecent exposure.
But Thomas Leipelt's lawyer, Cameron Bowman, said his client may choose to remain in jail rather than pay a bail company the typical 10 percent fee, which would be $5,000, Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Paul Bernal is expected to sentence Leipelt on April 15, and any time Leipelt serves now will count toward his sentence.
The judge had previously refused to set bail for Leipelt, 46, after a jury last month found the officer guilty of exposing himself and propositioning a clerk in the storage room of Santana Row boutique Annieglass, which sells luxury glassware. A sales clerk testified that he beckoned her over after she walked in on him, and later apologized as he was leaving the store.
Bernal changed his mind about bail after he was forced to postpone the sergeant's sentencing to give the probation department more time to prepare a report recommending a sentence. But Bernal set the bail $40,000 higher than the scheduled amount of $10,000, reflecting the jury's belief that the officer had lied on the stand.
Leipelt testified that he was simply urinating in the restroom behind the storage room after having sex with his mistress, who also worked at the store, when the clerk walked in on him. He said he apologized because it was an uncomfortable situation, not because he had actually exposed himself.
Prosecutor Lindsay Walsh has asked Bernal to sentence Leipelt to three months in jail -- in addition to the mandatory requirement that he register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. The maximum sentence is six months in jail.
Contact Tracey Kaplan at 408-278-3482. Follow her at Twitter.com/tkaplanreport.