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WARREN Former jailer pleads innocent to sex charges



Published: Sun, April 20, 2003 @ 12:00 a.m.



A second jailer was to appear in court later today.

By PEGGY SINKOVICH

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

WARREN -- A former Trumbull County jailer pleaded innocent to seven counts of sexual battery.

John Clutter, 28, of Warren entered the pleas this morning before Judge John Stuard of Trumbull County Common Pleas Court.

Clutter, who resigned in January on the day he was to take a lie-detector test, declined to comment.

"He's disappointed," said his attorney, Phil Vigorito. "He has denied the charges. He has cooperated every step of the way and even went to the grand jury. When we heard the news yesterday, it was disappointing."

A Trumbull County grand jury secretly indicted Clutter Thursday. Officials say a second jailer also was secretly indicted but has not yet been served with the indictment. That jailer was expected to be in court later today.

Judge Stuard set Clutter's bond at $10,000 and scheduled another hearing for next Wednesday.

Clutter is expected to post the bond today, Vigorito said. Clutter will remain in jail until the bond is posted, sheriff officials said.

Sheriff Thomas Altiere has said a 21-year-old Akron woman, who was in the county jail on a theft charge, told an assistant warden in January that the jailer committed a sex act with her in December.

The assistant warden immediately told supervisors, Altiere said.

Detectives noted that shortly after they heard the first allegation, a second inmate made a similar complaint. A few days later, a third female inmate came forward.

Officials said the Akron woman reported having sexual contact with the jailer but the other two said he would expose himself to them and ask them to do the same.

Candy bars were given to the women in exchange, the inmates told detectives.

The jailer took the inmates to a closet area, where there are no security cameras, officials said.

The sheriff noted there are normally two jailers assigned to each section of the jail, but one jailer may be alone during breaks.

sinkovich@vindy.com




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