YOUNGSTOWN — A former Boardman police officer turned convicted felon sent a 17-year-old girl explicit photographs, used a police computer to run her personal information and paid her $500 for sex, according to an internal report.
Stephen Kendall, 34, of Tippecanoe Road, pleaded guilty Thursday before Judge R. Scott Krichbaum of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court to a bill of information charging him with gross sexual imposition involving a 17-year-old girl and intoxicants.
Kendall resigned from the police department Monday, one day before Mahoning County Prosecutor Paul Gains filed a bill of information.
Kendall was with the force for five years and township payroll records show that with court time, overtime and holiday pay, he earned more than $75,000 last year.
Gains said he and the girl’s family are recommending probation. Gains read a letter in court from the girl and her parents that said: “We are hoping he will be shown mercy since he is remorseful over the situation and would be able to walk away with probation.”
The judge, however, told Kendall: “Your sentence is entirely up to me regardless of any recommendations that are made.” The offense carries penalties of probation or six to 18 months in prison and up to a $5,000 fine. As a sexually oriented offender, Kendall will have to register his home address annually with the sheriff for 10 years.
Sentencing is set for 9 a.m. March 8 following a pre-sentence investigation by the Ohio Adult Parole Authority.
Judge Krichbaum released Kendall on a personal recognizance bond under which he may not leave Ohio without the court’s permission and allowed him to self report to the sheriff’s department for booking. Kendall’s lawyer, J. Gerald Ingram, said after court that neither he nor his client would have any comment.