Trial begins in deputy's inmate-sex case

YOUNGSTOWN -- Jury selection is under way in the trial of a former Mahoning County deputy sheriff on a sexual battery charge.
Mark Dixon, 33, of Youngstown, is charged with having a female inmate engage in a sexual activity with him in the county jail in November 2002. Jury selection began Monday in the courtroom of Judge John M. Durkin of common pleas court. If convicted of the third-degree felony charge, Dixon could be sentenced to one to five years in prison and fined up to $10,000.
Dixon is serving a 22-month federal sentence for beating a county jail inmate. He was sent to the Federal Correctional Institution in Butner, N.C., in 2005 for beating the inmate Dec. 28, 2001.
The former deputy pleaded guilty to conspiracy to deprive inmate Tawhon Easterly of Youngstown of his civil right to be free from excessive force. Dixon was one of eight former sheriff's department employees convicted in that inmate-abuse case.

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