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Poughkeepsie Attorney, Ex-Lieutenant Admits He Sexually Touched Client

Wayne Thatcher, 63
Wayne Thatcher, 63 Photo Credit: Dutchess County Sheriff's Office

DUTCHESS COUNTY, N.Y. --  A retired Town of Poughkeepsie police lieutenant and attorney admitted to forcibly touching a former client, according to the Dutchess County District Attorney's Office.

Wayne Thatcher, 63, who was charged earlier this year with four counts of forcible touching, pleaded guilty Sept. 8 to a misdemeanor charge of forcible touching in connection with an incident on May 16, said Kristine Whelan, Bureau Chief for the Dutchess County District Attorney’s Office.

Thatcher was arrested on May 18 and charged with two counts of forcible touching with a client.

"Thatcher admitted to forcibly touching the intimate parts of the victim, a former client, for his own sexual gratification while meeting with her during the course of their attorney-client relationship."

He was charged with two more counts in June when additional victims stepped forward, the DA's office said.

Thatcher is scheduled to be sentenced before Judge Williams on Nov. 17, at which time the District Attorney’s Office will be recommending that he be sentenced to 60 days in jail, as well as six years probation, which is the maximum authorized under the law when the sentence includes both jail and probation, she said.

Although there were charges involving two other victims, Whelan stated that Thatcher pleaded guilty to the charge for which they had the greatest amount of evidence against him.

Whelan praised Det. Sgt. Gerard Pfitscher, Det. Adam Harris, and Det. Ralph Franceschi of the Dutchess County Sheriff's Office for their thorough investigation, stating that "The time and effort that they put forth enabled us to bring this case to a successful conclusion."

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