Apr 29, 2013 1:19 PM by Andy Koen

Former officer pleads guilty; drops restraining order

COLORADO SPRINGS - The woman at the center of a scandal that cost a Manitou Springs police officer his job and Colorado Springs taxpayers $480,000 could serve up to four years of supervised probation under the terms of a plea bargain in which she admitted guilt today for attempting to influence a public servant, a Class 4 Felony.

Former Colorado Springs Police officer Sydney Huffman, 26, admitted in court that she "was not truthful" with officers when she alleged back in June of 2010 that Jarrott Martinez tried to run her off the road. Prosecutors took issue with her statement saying that Huffman was hedging.

They said Huffman not only accused Martinez of trying to run her off the road but also said he pulled her into his truck and tried to strangle her. They pointed out that surveillance video proved that Martinez was at the mall at the time he was supposedly with Huffman.

They went on to say that Huffman changed her story to claim the abuse happened later that evening when she intentionally went to meet him. Again prosecutors had evidence disproving the claim including receipts from a Chili's restaurant and a gas station.

After discussing the rebuff with her lawyers Huffman told the judge she agreed with what the district attorney indicated was accurate. As part of the plea agreement, Huffman dropped a restraining order she had taken out against Martinez. Prosecutors said the protection order had prevented him from working in law enforcement or entering military service.

In January of 2012, the City of Colorado Springs settled a lawsuit filed by Martinez against the department for $480,000. Huffman's lawyers told the court she was agreeing to the plea bargain because she felt the ordeal of a trial could cause her too much stress and could harm her pregnancy. The prosecution added, for the record, that they were willing to postpone the trial until after she delivered the baby.

Huffman left the courtroom surrounded by her attorneys and declined to comment. A tearful Martinez hugged his attorneys and said he was at a loss for words over the emotion of the moment. Huffman will be sentenced June 24.

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