Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Sgt Timothy Richissin Faces More Charges of Voyeurism

A police officer already accused of recording women with a hidden bathroom camera, now faces more charges.

Suspended Cleveland Sergeant Timothy Richissin was charged with two more counts of voyeurism in Medina County Common Pleas Court.

Prosecutors say last year, Richissin hid a small camera inside the bathroom of the Hinckley warehouse where he ran a business.

Earlier this year, he was charged with tampering with evidence, voyeurism, obstructing official business and possessing criminal tools, after a female employee found the camera and called police.

"The sheriff's department went and did their investigation, located victim one, then they obtained computers pursuant to a search warrant, the computers were sent to Ohio BCI for analysis, and that analysis turned up the second victim," said Medina County prosecutor Dean Holman.

Richissin plead not guilty to the new charges. He also hired a new attorney to represent him.

Trial For Officer DeWayne Curtis Hart Postponed

A Pittsburgh police officer charged with fondling a woman instead of taking her to jail on an outstanding warrant was set to go to trial this week, but the case has been postponed until the fall.

DeWayne Curtis Hart, 45, a 14-year veteran who was transferred to the records department after the incident, was charged last year with indecent assault, obstruction of justice and official oppression.

Officer Hart, who originally represented himself, recently hired attorney William Difenderfer, who last week asked Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Joseph K. Williams III for a continuance.

The judge granted it and scheduled the trial for October.

Mr. Difenderfer couldn't be reached for comment.

According to an affidavit filed by Lyle Graber, a detective with the district attorney's office, Officer Hart assaulted the woman in December 2007 at her house on Bergman Street in Sheraden.

The Post-Gazette does not identify sex crime victims or accusers.

Officer Hart responded to a burglary report at the woman's home shortly before 2 p.m. on Dec. 7 after she called 911. The woman said she believed her sister had broken into the house.

Officer Hart took down the items she believed were stolen, completed his report and left.

A few minutes later, while the woman was on a cell phone with another sister, she said Officer Hart walked back into the house without knocking and asked her if she knew there was a warrant for her arrest.

The woman was wanted in connection with a robbery and assault.

According to the affidavit, she said Officer Hart asked her, "What are you gonna do?" and told her he could take her to jail. She said he would have to do that. He then told her, "The only thing keeping me back is your cookies" and said the jail would be full and that she'd have to stay there all day.

He then said he would come to arrest her the next day at 9 a.m., but she told him to take her to jail immediately. Officer Hart then repeated his comment about her "cookies."

After she asked what he meant, he reached inside her shirt and fondled her. She was still holding her cell phone and told her sister that she had to go. When her sister said she didn't have to go anywhere, according to the affidavit, the woman said Officer Hart was "nodding in the affirmative."

After she hung up, she said, he grabbed her hand and made her fondle him before he backed away and said, "9 o'clock -- be there."

Officer Hart drove away. The woman said she ran down Hillsboro Street and got a ride to her sister's house, where her family discussed what to do. She finally called 911 to report the assault and the outstanding warrant.

City officers investigated and took her statement the day after the alleged incident on Dec. 8. She picked Officer Hart out of a photo lineup.

The case was later referred to the district attorney's office. Detective Graber interviewed the woman on April 29, 2008, and said her statement to him was the same as the one she gave city officers.

Judge Charles Nebel Arrested for Drunk Driving

Authorities say an Upper Peninsula judge has been arrested for suspected drunken driving after police clocked him speeding more than 100 miles an hour.

The Mining Journal of Marquette reports Charles Nebel was arrested Friday evening in Schoolcraft County.

The county prosecutor's office says Nebel's blood-alcohol level was above the legal limit of 0.08 percent. He was arrested and lodged overnight in the county jail.

Schoolcraft County Prosecuting Attorney Peter Hollenbeck says the case has been turned over to Attorney General Mike Cox for a decision on any charges.

Nebel said in a statement he "made a series of bad and inappropriate decisions" and is prepared to face the consequences.

Nebel is a probate judge for Schoolcraft and Alger counties.