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-- THE ARCHIVE --


UNITED STATES

Judicial CP - August 2004



Corpun file 13882

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NewsNet5.com (WEWS-TV), Cleveland, Ohio, 11 August 2004

Ex-Chief Accused Of Paddling Teens Seeks To Settle

Man Allegedly Paddled Teens Instead Of Giving Tickets

FOWLER, Ohio -- A former police captain accused of paddling teen motorists for traffic violations instead of giving them tickets is offering to pay three accusers money to settle civil lawsuits, according to court documents filed Tuesday.

James Martin, who retired from the part-time police chief's job last month, also has made an offer to pay a juvenile who took part in the diversion program but was not paddled, according to motions filed in U.S. District Court in Youngstown.

The motions state that Martin is willing to pay Michael W. Harrington, 18, of Niles; Robert J. McCrystal, 18, of Howland, and Richard Thomas Woolf, 16, of Vienna, $15,000 each.

Martin is also willing to settle the case filed by Scott C. Villio, 20, of Niles, for $6,000. Villio was not paddled.

Attorney Sarah Kovoor, who represents all four, said she plans to discuss the offer with her clients.

"Right now I don't think we are interested in any of their offers until we do more discovery," she said.

The three teenagers filed federal civil suits alleging their privacy rights were violated when they were paddled as part of the diversion program. One alleged that he suffered welts in the bare-bottom paddling, which was videotaped.

Martin, free on a $2,500 bond, has pleaded innocent to a 52-count indictment. He is facing 20 counts of dereliction of duty; 11 counts of misdemeanor assault; seven counts of unauthorized photography; 12 counts of using a sham legal process, and two felony counts of theft in office, said Dave Toepfer, an assistant county prosecutor.

Authorities said the charge of sham legal process means Martin showed juveniles a document that appeared official but in reality had no legal standing and was not lawfully issued. State and federal officials began investigating Martin's juvenile diversion program in March.

The program used corporal punishment and was being operated out of the Fowler Township Police Department. Martin has said that his program was designed to help juveniles. Martin also worked full time as a police captain in Howland for 32 years. He retired from that position in May.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



Corpun file 13877

Akron Beacon Journal, Ohio, 14 August 2004

Police chief seeks dismissal of some charges in paddling case

Associated Press

WARREN, Ohio - A former police chief accused of paddling juveniles who otherwise might have had to go to court is asking a judge dismiss more than half of the charges against him.

Officials began investigating James Martin's juvenile diversion program in March. The program Martin designed used corporal punishment and was being operated out of the Fowler Township Police Department, about 70 miles southeast of Cleveland.

Martin retired from the part-time police chief's job last month. He retired from the Howland Township police, where he was a police captain, in May.

Martin, free on a $2,500 bond, has pleaded innocent to a 52-count indictment. He is facing 20 counts of dereliction of duty; 11 counts of misdemeanor assault; seven counts of unauthorized photography; 12 counts of a sham legal process, and two felony counts of theft in office, said Dave Toepfer, an assistant Trumbull County prosecutor.

The charge of sham legal process alleges Martin showed juveniles a document that appeared official but in reality had no legal standing and was not lawfully issued.

His lawyer, Dominic Vitantonio, has filed a motion asking Trumbull County Common Pleas Court Judge Andrew Logan to dismissed all 20 counts of dereliction of duty and all seven counts of unauthorized photography of juveniles.

David Toepfer, an assistant Trumbull County prosecutor, filed a motion this week opposing the dismissal of any of the criminal counts.

Logan has not indicated when he will decide on the motions.

Participants in Martin's program who received traffic tickets were told that if they attended Martin's program they would not have to go to court.

In his motion to have the seven charges of unauthorized photography of juveniles dismissed, Vitantonio explains that Martin videotaped the paddling of several juveniles.



blob Follow-up: 25 January 2005 - Spanking case jury is chosen




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