Investigation closed at Sheriff’s Office

By Kelsey Kimbler -

PREBLE COUNTY — An internal investigation at the Preble County Sheriff’s Office regarding a man’s accusations of sexual assault has been closed. According to Preble County Sheriff Mike Simpson, the report showed no wrong doing by any Sheriff’s Office staff member or officer.

Richard Dougherty spoke during the Preble County Commissioners’ meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 6. He claimed officers forcefully stripped and “touched” him after he asked them not to. He is a rape survivor and is claiming the incident at the jail felt like “sexual assault.”

At that time, the commissioners reported there was an open investigation at the Sheriff’s Office and they could not speak on the matter.

At press time, Sheriff Mike Simpson explained, “My office has been investigating the accusation since it was brought to our attention. We received his written complaint on Sept. 16, some five months after he was incarcerated in our facility for one day. This investigation has taken longer than normal, due to the lack of cooperation from Mr. Dougherty. We expect the investigation to conclude soon.”

That investigation concluded on Dec. 10. According to Simpson, the investigation found Sheriff’s Office staff acted appropriately and there were no violations of policy or Ohio minimum jail standards.

“Mr. Dougherty was brought into our facility after he was arrested by Camden Police Department. He was here for approximately a day. He basically made two allegations: the first was that he was sexually assaulted by staff here in the jail — which is absolutely not true; the second allegation was that he was not provided access to mental health treatment — which is not true,” Simpson said.

“Our investigation found that he was provided access to medical and mental health services while he was here on that particular day. We take any allegation from a citizen that we have acted inappropriately very serious. A complete and thorough investigation was completed by administration level employees. We have found that our staff acted appropriately and did not violate any policy.

“We take allegations seriously and we investigate those in a serious manner. In this particular allegation, our staff followed policy and they did their jobs. I stand behind my staff.”

The Preble County Sheriff’s Office has forwarded copies of the investigation report to the Bureau of Adult Detention and the FBI. At press time, Simpson did not know if those agencies have opened their own investigation, as he has not been contacted.

By Kelsey Kimbler

Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH

Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH