Ex-sheriff's deputy sentenced for molesting underage female relative


By Jamey Padojino | Bay City News Service

An ex-San Mateo County sheriff's deputy was sentenced Friday (April 15) for child molestation on an underage female relative in Santa Clara County that had started about 10 years ago.

Galen Underwood was sentenced to 38 years consecutive to 30 years to life in prison for molesting a girl beginning when she was 11 years old at homes in Gilroy and Mountain View, Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Charles Gillingham said.

Superior Court Judge Vanessa Zecher imposed the sentence on Mr. Underwood at the Hall of Justice in San Jose and denied a motion for a new trial.

Mr. Underwood will be "spending the rest of his life in prison for his conduct," Mr. Gillingham said.

The former deputy was convicted in August on charges including lewd and lascivious acts with a child under age 14 with force and aggravated assault with a child under age 12 with force, Mr. Gillingham said.

During Mr. Underwood's trial, a jury was presented with physical evidence and heard testimony from the victim, according to Mr. Gillingham.

Mr. Underwood had a "sexual interest" in underage girls based on phone and email evidence and an online subscription to a website, the prosecutor said.

Mr. Underwood has been in custody since his arrest in late September 2013 after the girl told a school counselor that he had molested her for many years, prosecutors said.

The ex-deputy, who had worked in the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office since January 2005, was placed on paid administrative leave after his arrest and later fired, Mr. Gillingham said.

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