LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy has pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor count of assaulting a 19-year-old arrestee in the back seat of a patrol car.

City News Service reports 31-year-old Matthew John Funicello entered his plea Monday and was immediately given three years of probation and ordered to get a year of counseling.

Prosecutors said Funicello hit Dewayne Wright with his fists several times on July 22, 2011, while Wright was being moved from the sheriff’s Palmdale station to the Twin Towers jail in downtown Los Angeles.

Funicello was initially charged with a felony count of assault under color of authority. That charge could have resulted in a three-year jail term, but it was reduced to a misdemeanor in exchange for the deputy’s plea.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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