Tallmadge police, citing the fallout from the Steubenville rape case, have asked sheriff’s deputies to investigate rape allegations made against an officer’s relative.
Police Lt. Ronald Williams said Wednesday that “an allegation of a sexual assault” was made and that “due to a conflict of interest,” the investigation has been referred to the Summit County Sheriff’s Office.”
At the request of the Beacon Journal, Williams released a one-page incident report of the allegation. The report calls the sexual assault a rape and said it took place last weekend between 10 p.m. on Friday and 6 a.m. Saturday.
The incident was reported to Tallmadge police on Monday.
The report redacts all information regarding the victim and the suspect and the address where the alleged offense took place.
Williams said no other documents related to the investigation would be released. Sheriff’s spokesman Bill Holland said he just learned of the transfer and could not immediately comment.
In a subsequent email, Williams referenced the highly-publicized Steubenville rape while explaining why Tallmadge police asked sheriff’s deputies to handle the case.
Two Steubenville High School football players were convicted of rape last month after an intoxicated teenage girl was sexually assaulted and photographed.
Critics say local police failed to properly investigate the case, a claim that caused national media to converge on the small Ohio town.
Attorney General Mike DeWine has since convened a grand jury to consider additional charges in the Steubenville case.
“An allegation has been made against a family member of an officer,” Williams said in an email. “In light of the recent incident in Steubenville, it is in the best interest of all concerned to have an outside agency conduct a fair and impartial investigation.”