Butte County deputy arrested on child molestation charges

Nov 13, 2014 4:53 PM by News Staff

A Butte County Sheriff's deputy has been arrested on child molestation charges, Sheriff Kory Honea confirmed Thursday.

Chico Police arrested Thomas Michael Sylvia, 37, Monday for allegedly committing lewd acts with a child under the age of 14.

According to sheriff's officials, the Chico Police Department contacted the Butte County Sheriff's Office in April, saying they were investigating a child molestation case and one of the suspects was Sylvia. In May police contacted the sheriff's office again and informed officials that their investigation focused solely on Sylvia.

Sylvia was then removed from his duties and the sheriff's office launched an internal investigation. Sylvia was placed, and remains on paid administrative leave, pending the results of the criminal proceedings.

Earlier this month, additional information was received that led police to get an arrest warrant for Sylvia. He was taken into custody on November 10 and booked into the Butte County Jail and charged with lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14. After being booked he was transferred to another jail for his own safety.

Sylvia made his first appearance in court Thursday afternoon and his attorney entered a not guilty plea on his behalf. Judge Steven Howell then granted Sylvia's release with a promise to return to court and stay away from the victim.

Sylvia was hired as a deputy in 2005 and had been assigned to the courts as a bailiff. Sheriff Honea told Action News Now that none of Sylvia's alleged crimes pertained to his job, while he was on duty or on county property.


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