Grand jury clears Sandusky County jail guards

A grand jury found nothing criminal in the sexual exploitation of a 21-year-old schizophrenic inmate at the Sandusky County jail earlier this year, according to a report filed Tuesday.
Jessica Cuffman
Nov 9, 2012

“We do not like what happened at all, but it did not rise to the level of criminal conduct,” the report states. “The officers in our opinion deserved discipline but not discharge from employment.”

Read the three-page grand jury report here.

Click here for an index to related articles. 

Get Friday’s Register for Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s reaction to grand jury’s decision.

Comments

underthebridge

According to the report (which I read) the guards were cleared of criminal wrong-doing. That simply means that their actions did not rise to the level of criminal conduct. Clearing them from the allegations of criminal conduct does not mean that the conduct is not unprofessional, against policy, or degrading.

If she was pink slipped into a psychiatric facility, then she had a diagnosis. She may have been discharged for non-compliance (such as refusing to take medication) but you cannot be admitted involuntarily (pink slipped) into a psychiatric facility without a psychiatric diagnosis.

Additionally, community mental health centers aren't just called when an inmate has a known mental health diagnosis. They are also called when an inmate is acting bizarre, excessively disruptive, presents a danger to themselves, etc. The report rec'ds additional training to staff regarding the mental health practices. Seems like a good place to start.

John Harville

anony... did you read the report? The Grand Jury stated the woman was 'psychotic' and 'off her medications'. So the Grand Jury is guilty of 'hearsay' and 'slander'?

anonymousdonor

Yes, I have in fact read the report multiple times. And "she was apparently off her medication" doesn't sound like the grand jury was so sure of much. It would be very interesting to see a list of the medications she was on that her own mother wouldn't bring to her while she was in such a highly agitated state. And just to clarify, I wasn't insinuating the grand jury was slandering the woman, moreso the guards. Have you not noticed how all three are grouped as if they acted as one? I'm sure you as well as many others think all of the guards treated this woman in the same manner. That each of them took their turn heckling this poor woman, but you would because that is what the Register and the court reports have made you believe. Each of the three guards had their own distinct role in whatever happened that night and each of them should have been seperately identified in the outcome of the investigation.

wiredmama222

Have we, as a society, dropped to this level, that we think it is not criminal to "stare, point and aggrevate" those in our care when we know they are mentally "off"? We do not find that our officers are not held to a higher standard when we allow them to not seek a doctor or medical care for someone who obviously needed it, but to subject them to sneering, staring at her through the glass and allowing her to go naked and filling the jail cell with urine? Wow, who sat on THAT grand jury, the mothers or relatives of the cops?

Only someone with no feelings for that girl could come up with that kind of finding and be so callous.

I agree with Julie, the grand jury is the window dressing of the prosecutor, but this county must really have a problem. What is going on with these people? They say it is ok to do what these guys did????

Special Prosecutor or not, something isn't right here. How anyone in their right mind could hear about this and think it ok to ridicule and defile (even through a window) a mentally ill woman must be off themselves.

All officers are held to higher standards....it goes with the territory. They are supposed to be the examples. If these guys are the examples of anything it is bad manners, poor taste and the wrong way to do things.

And now what? They get their jobs back?

They should be ashamed as should be the special prosecutor and that grand jury.

Julie R.

A grand jury is to a prosecutor what Erie County's infamous rent-a-judge scam is to the sitting judges. Both are nothing but window dressings. The only difference between the two -- a grand jury doesn't get paid whereas the rent-a-judges get paid with taxpayer dollars to say what the sitting judges tell them to say.

John Harville

Again... check your facts. Grand jurors DO get stipends.

underthebridge

I was reading the law regarding "Pink Slips/Involuntary Admissions" to psychiatric facilities. By law, they expire within 72 hours/3 days which means that a person cannot be legally held in a psychiatric facility for longer than that unless the still present a danger to themselves or others in which case the hospital would have to re-initiate the pink slip process. What usually happens, is that the person is stabilized on medications and may discharge themselves or may not need hospitalization.

The Rudy

I wasn't there that night but I know one of the three and it doesn't surprise me that the big boy was involved in this incident.

Brick Hamland

I generally don't agree with Juile R's posts, but she is right on target with her comments that it is not the grand jury but rather the prosecutor that should be the center of all your disgust. It is widely known that with the rules of evidence, or the lack thereof in the grand jury, it doesn't take much to get an indictment. Most people say that a good prosecutor is able to indict a ham sandwich... Sandusky County should look into who is leading that office (which in all honesty I have no idea so this is not meant to be a slam on whoever is or a personal attack of that person).

Julie R.

@ Brick Hamland: Do you also agree that retired rent-a-judges are nothing more than window dressing for your corrupt Erie County judges?

John Harville

Why are we talking about Erie County - except that a woman had ODd and died in jail there?

Ithink

This is all because she was a mental patient and in jail. Had she been a 'normal' female on the street, things may have been different.

DGMutley

"This is all because she was a mental patient and in jail. Had she been a 'normal' female on the street, things may have been different." < Ithink

Whether or not she was on her meds has no bearing on the conduct and professionalism expected from the jail staff.

Ithink

DGMutley--That is EXACTLY what I meant! These thugs in uniform got away with it because she was a 'throw-away' person!. They probably thought that she would never tell anyone because she was 'crazy'. They need to be humiliated in front of a crowd. Sandusky County's legal system needs a HUGE overhaul!

FreBerg2

Since when is anyone a "throw-away" person. So now your just not degrading these men but the girl as well? Does anyone remember that this whole thing was based on Alligations. Was there any proof of anything. Because I haven't seen any. So what makes you any better than these men? All you are is doing is trashing them, With no facts to back your comments up. So unless your the female that was there that was so called "sexual exploited" the registers words. I don't think you have the right to degrade them. Maybe you should be humiliated in front of a crowd right beside them?

John Harville

Please... it was all on video - as is everything in the jail. There are a lot of 'throw-away' people. We read about them here all the time.. 'lazy no-goods who don't want to work and just collect their entitlements' among others. A 'throw-away' is all about perception, not fact.

FreBerg2

John when was the video released? I would love to watch that to see if my opinion is wrong. Are you a deputy? If so I can see why this county is in so much trouble with your view of "throw away people".

Ithink

Thank you, John. Someone got it.

anonymousdonor

Did you read the report? At the end where it says the jail needs to install monitoring devices so all events can be monitored in the future... this says to me that the jail does not currently have these monitoring devices so I'm quite sure there isn't a video. If there had been a video of all this, I'm sure it would have been leaked by now. No?

Ithink

DUH- FreBerg2--that's what the 'around the word' is meant to represent. I did not say she was a throw-away person. I lept to a conclusion that 'might' have been going through these so-called officers little brains. Society sees mental health patients as ones that could, or should, be thrown away. And yes there was evidence. And no, I am not wasting any more typing time on you. Enjoy your crowd.

FreBerg2

Duh -Ithink- before you attack me maybe you should proof read your comments because "quotes" do not express a opinion. Or maybe your not educated enough to know that. I'm sorry my degree in English didn't teach my how to read your type of slander. So maybe your ignorance will land you in front of your so called crowd.

Centauri

"I generally don't agree with Juile R's posts, but she is right on target with her comments that it is not the grand jury but rather the prosecutor that should be the center of all your disgust."

SO VERY TRUE. SAD!

John Harville

'The Prosecutor" being the Attorney General's office.

Centauri

"Brick Hamland: Do you also agree that retired rent-a-judges are nothing more than window dressing for your corrupt Erie County judges?"

I CAN TELL YOU A LOT ABOUT RENT A JUDGE! If YOU WANT RESULTS THEN RENT A JUDGE TO GIVE RESULTS. RENT A JUDGE WILL GIVE GOOD RESULTS TO ALL WHO IS PAYING. SAME AS RENT A TOOL. GET RESULTS THAT YOU PAY FOR. F**K THE THE TAXPAYER THAT FOOTS THE BILL.

John Harville

So. The quarterly inspection of the jail required by ORC included investigation of this incident. While the Grand Jury was critical of the guards, their behaviors, the sheriff and how he manages his department, the understaffing, and the fact employees have no routine traiing in mental health issues - and that no action was taken against the female guard - they did not believe any of the actions/non-actions by the guards was 'criminal'.
However, they also did not approve of the actions of the guards.
I re=read it three times and wonder why the Sheriff called on an investigator from the Fremont Police Department to investigate the treatment of a woman who initially was a Fremont Police Department prisoner...

DGMutley

Very good point. In my opinion the original arrest was bogus.

FreBerg2

John I hate to say it but you do bring up a good point. Fremont police should have never done this investigation. It should have been a out of county office. Maybe than these men could have received a fair chance.

Pages