A Chowchilla police officer was arrested Monday for allegedly having sex with a minor, the Madera County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.
Tyler Hormel, 35, worked for the department as a school resource officer. Madera County Sheriff Jay Varney said the arrest stems from an incident in Madera County that does not have anything to do with his duties as a school resource officer – at least for now.
“This circumstance is still under investigation, however there is currently no evidence that indicates that any of the alleged criminal conduct occurred while he was on duty or acting in an official capacity,” Varney said.
Hormel faces seven felony charges in all: Four counts of rape, two counts of oral sex with a child younger than 14 but older than 10 and one count of oral sex with a victim younger than 16. It’s not known if there was more than one victim.
Hormel is on paid administrative leave from the Chowchilla Police Department while an internal investigation is conducted. The sheriff’s department is conducting a criminal investigation and expects to file a case with the Madera County District Attorney’s Office.
Varney, the former chief of Chowchilla’s police department, said his old department has been cooperative and supportive of the investigation.
Hormel was assigned in August 2013 to be the campus resource officer for the Chowchilla Elementary School District and has been with the Chowchilla Police Department for at least 12 years.
Chowchilla police Chief Dave Riviere declined to say how long Hormel had been with the department or what school he worked at. He said the matter is a personnel issue and any comment could jeopardize both the criminal and internal investigations.
The city’s website says the police force consists of 19 full-time officers, including the chief, one lieutenant and four sergeants.
According to Merced Sun-Star archives, Hormel was assigned in August 2013 to be the campus resource officer for the Chowchilla Elementary School District and has been with the department for at least 12 years.
Leadership from the Chowchilla Elementary School District was in a closed-session board meeting Monday night and would not be available for comment, the district operator said.