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Sandusky County grand jury consider charges against jail guards

Jessica Cuffman • Aug 27, 2014 at 2:38 PM

And it’s not over yet.

William Schenck, an attorney and senior adviser to Attorney General Mike DeWine, has examined witnesses and reviewed documents during three different days of hearings since Sept. 18, in hopes of determining what happened at the jail Jan. 10.

Three former guards were accused of exploiting a mentally ill 21-year-old woman who was left naked in a jail cell for six hours that day.

The investigation that followed eventually led to the firings of Charles Pump, 34, and Franklin Kaiser, 31. A third guard, Joshua Smith, 22, resigned after being given the option rather than being fired.

Pump and Kaiser later won $5,000 each in settlement agreements, in which Sheriff Kyle Overmyer promised to provide them neutral job recommendations in the future.

In return, Pump and Kaiser dropped their grievances and agreed not to make disparaging remarks about the sheriff’s office.

In August, DeWine agreed to launch a probe into what happened, after Sandusky County prosecutor Tom Stierwalt asked the Ohio Attorney General’s Office to take over the case.

The guards were accused of leaving the woman in the cell naked after she tried to flush her gown down the toilet, flooding her cell with urine and water.

Then, at least one of the guards allegedly encouraged her to masturbate.

She was left naked until nightshift supervisors arrived, according to reports on the incident.

Schenck said the grand jury will meet again Tuesday.

“We’re getting very near to completing work on this matter,” he told the Register Thursday, after meeting again in Sandusky County.

“We’re proceeding very slowly, hopefully very thoroughly and very carefully,” he said. “We are progressing.”

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