Minneapolis police officer charged with sexual misconduct

A Minneapolis police officer is accused of sexually assaulting a victim who was mentally impaired or helpless.

Forty-two-year-old Thomas Tichich of Plymouth was charged Wednesday with third- and fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct, both felonies. He was booked into the Hennepin County Jail and made his first court appearance Thursday.

The complaint says Tichich is accused of sexually assaulting a woman on the morning of Dec. 15 after they had been out drinking the night before. The complaint says the incident happened at the northeast Minneapolis home of another woman who invited the off-duty officer and the woman to spend the night to avoid driving drunk.

Defense attorney Peter Wold tells the Star Tribune that whatever happened was consensual.

A spokesman says Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau has no comment.