Published: Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Ex-officer to plead guilty to sex charge
The former officer will appear in court Thursday.
By DENISE DICK
BOARDMAN A former Boardman Township police officer has agreed to plead guilty to a charge of gross sexual imposition.
Steven M. Kendall, 34, of Tippecanoe Road, Canfield, waived an indictment to the fourth-degree felony charge. Mahoning County Prosecutor Paul J. Gains filed a bill of information on the charge Tuesday in common pleas court. The case has been assigned to Judge R. Scott Krichbaum. A hearing date has been set for 8 a.m. Thursday.
Kendall is represented by Atty. J. Gerald Ingram.
Gains said the charge carries a penalty of up to 18 months in prison. The prosecutor said Kendall resigned from his township post as a patrol officer Monday and won't be able to serve again as a police officer in Ohio.
He is accused of having sexual contact with a 17-year-old girl and "for the purpose of preventing resistance, did substantially impair" the girl's "judgment or control by administering intoxicants," the bill of information says.
The bill of information doesn't provide further details, and Gains declined to divulge specifics until after Kendall enters his plea before the judge.
Kendall, a five-year police department veteran, and Officer Ken Kasiewicz, 28, a four-year township officer, were placed on paid administrative leave Jan. 12.
Kasiewicz hasn't been charged, and police have said that the investigation regarding him is administrative.
Gains said that his office was notified of the case Jan. 11.
Praise for investigation
"The Boardman Police Department conducted a thorough investigation," Gains said, specifically mentioning Capt. Jack Nichols and acting Police Chief Jerre Patterson. "I applaud the Boardman Police Department."
Gains also has spoken with Patrick Berarducci, who will take the township police chief job next month.
Berarducci thanked the prosecutor's office for expediting the case to help restore the public's confidence in the department.
"It's our job to protect the people of Boardman, not to take advantage of them," the incoming chief said. "That's just not going to be tolerated."
While the department can't comment on the specifics of the matter until the criminal case is resolved, information will become public at its conclusion, he said.
Kendall's personnel file includes notes and cards of thanks from members of the public and from his supervisors.
In his most recent performance evaluation in 2005, his sergeant called Kendall a hard worker who doesn't avoid extra work or responsibility.
He did receive a one-day suspension and directives to receive counseling in 2004 after run-ins with a co-worker and members of the public.