State bureau investigates alleged juvenile court altercation

By Nathan Kraatz -

WILMINGTON — A state law enforcement agency is investigating an “alleged physical altercation between a bailiff and a juvenile who was in court Monday,” according to Ohio Attorney General spokesperson Jill Del Greco.

Del Greco said the Bureau of Criminal Investigation was requested — by Clinton County Prosecutor Rick Moyer’s office — to investigate the alleged incident in Clinton County Juvenile and Probate Court. The Special Investigations Unit will “investigate basically to find the facts of what happened,” she said.

After the unit’s investigation, the case will be turned over to Moyer’s office, where Moyer said he will ask Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office to review the investigation and dete rmine whether to press charges.

In theory, county prosecutors could choose whether to prosecute the case, but “in reality, in this particular case, I would pass that case on to a special prosecutor to look at because one of my prosecutors was in the room” and could be called upon as a witness, Moyer said.

“We (Moyer’s office and the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office) believe the best way to do this was to call the BCI,” Moyer said, adding that he’s made similar requests in the past for special investigators or special prosecutors. “This is just normal when you have local (law enforcement) involved.”

One of Moyer’s assistant prosecutors was in the room during the court proceedings, as were employees of the Clinton County Public Defender’s Office and the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office.

Clinton County Juvenile and Probate Judge Chad Carey said he was not presiding over the proceedings. His magistrate, Mark J. Miars, was.

Del Greco declined to provide the name of the bailiff allegedly involved. She said BCI doesn’t typically release names of involved parties unless charges are filed.

Reach Nathan Kraatz at 937-382-2574, ext. 2510 or on Twitter @NathanKraatz.

By Nathan Kraatz

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