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5 women accuse cop of sexual harassment



Published: Fri, April 9, 2010 @ 12:09 a.m.

photo

Jeff Christy

By Jeanne Starmack

starmack@vindy.com

LOWELLVILLE

A Lowellville police officer who’s on leave after his indictment by a Mahoning County grand jury was the subject of sexual harassment complaints by five women, police records show.

Jeffrey Christy, 31, of Niles, was indicted March 31 on charges of menacing by stalking, gross sexual imposition and public indecency. He is free on his own recognizance.

The complaints are detailed in police reports from Lowellville and Milton Township, where Christy formerly worked as a reserve officer.

The complaints from Lowellville did not result in charges against Christy but are part of the case to show a pattern of conduct, said Milton Township Detective Sgt. Jeff Lewis, lead investigator in the case.

In Lowellville, complaints came from two 18-year-old women who said Christy tried to initiate sex with them at the King’s Motel in Coitsville Township on Feb. 3, 2009.

Those women, one from Lowellville and the other from Struthers, said they first met Christy when they came to the Lowellville station to file a report Jan. 26, 2009.

One of the women wanted to complain about telephone harassment, said Lewis.

A Lowellville police report dated Feb. 4, 2009, indicates the women complained Christy made sexual comments during that initial encounter.

Christy called Feb. 3 to give an update about their case, they said, and asked when they were going to get together “for a three-way.”

He found them that evening while they were shopping and suggested going to the motel, they told police.

As Christy checked in, the women went across the road to a convenience store. They called police, and a Coitsville officer escorted them to Lowellville to make statements.

The report says Christy did not deny trying to check into the motel with the women. He did deny making lewd comments at the police station.

Lowellville Police Chief William Vance told The Vindicator this week that the women’s stories were inconsistent and they did not want to press charges against Christy.

The report indicates that one of the women said she “just wants this to go away and not have any more contact with Jeff.” Chief Vance asked her to “sign a form to that effect.”

On Feb. 5, the woman signed a letter, typed by Sgt. Roger Vance, brother to the chief, that stated she would not take legal action against Christy or the village.

Two other complaints of stalking behavior came from women who encountered Christy in Milton Township, said Lewis. Christy worked for the township from Jan. 22, 2008, to July 1, 2009.

One of those women, Anita Persinger, 35, of Beloit, said she was harassed over a six-month period when she was pulled over “eight to 10 times.”

“I was in fear for a year before I did anything,” she said earlier this week. She filed her complaint in September 2009.

A home-health-care nurse, Persinger had to drive through Milton Township to visit a patient who lived in Craig Beach.

She first encountered Christy after he pulled alongside her car while she was stopped late one night in August 2008 at a gas station on Mahoning Avenue.

She said that after a brief conversation, he asked her about “friends with benefits.”

The report says Lewis did a LEADS system history check and found that Christy had run Persinger’s Social Security number that night.

Persinger said she tried changing vehicles, but Christy found her again.

She said that during one stop in November, Christy grabbed her by the back of the neck and forced her to kiss him.

She said that a few days later, he followed her on state Route 534 from Mahoning Avenue to U.S. Route 224.

Lewis said the fifth woman lives in Salem and knew Christy as her co-worker at a landscaping business.

The woman stated that in July 2006, Christy engaged in lewd conduct at a party in Austintown, he said.

Milton Township Chief Jeff Saltsman said that while Christy was being investigated, he resigned from that department.

Milton Township brought the charges to the Mahoning County prosecutor.

“We have to investigate one of our own,” Saltsman said.

Christy has worked part-time in Lowellville for two years, Chief Vance said.

He said he placed Christy on unpaid leave as soon as he was indicted.

“I feel bad for everybody — the victims,” Vance said.


Comments

11970mach1(1005 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

disgusting

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2Nunya(1356 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

Wow

One can try to be as objective as possible but this reeks of one twisted pup.

One that routinely made life a living hell for women he encountered. Where it appears he's abused the levity of authority, access to data and devalued the uniform as a criminal tool.

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3theword(342 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

“I feel bad for everybody — the victims,” Vance said.

If the Chief felt so bad then why didn't he place the officer on leave when the first complaint was brought to his attention. He only put the officer on leave after being indicted.

The citizens of Lowellville should be proud of their chief

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4theword(342 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

penguinbird

first off thank u, that was my point. The chief was looking out for the village and not what the officer was accused of.

second, if everyone is innocent until proven guilty then why is he on un -paid leave now? He wasn't found guilty of a crime he was just indicted!

@ ImUrPO

The fact of the matter is police officers are held at a higher standard then joe public. DId the chief look into leads to see how many times this officer ran the victims plates like Sgt. Lews did? It seems like the chief didn't do a good job of investigating this one but what do u expect from a part time police department?

This officer has how many complaints against him from how many different women? Not to mention how many women didn't file a complaint yet.

My point was it seems as if the chief of Lowellville was covering his own A** and not finding out the facts of the complaint.

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5theword(342 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

IF the stories were inconsistent then why did the chief have his brother type a release form for the women to sign stating that she would not take legal action against Christy or the village?

The chief must have known that there was some truth to her complaint

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6redvert(2065 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

Did the chief do a background check on Christy before hiring him? Yes, I know that the law states that all the previous employer can legally state is that the person was employed and when that was. We also know or at least should that the police community is close knit and as such, information can "leak."

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7havinmysay(155 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

What a creepy sicko.

It's amazing how they can run from department to department.

That should not be allowed. I actually believe they should make cops get licenses. If they do something wrong in one department, that license should be revoked statewide.

It should also be the law that all cops pass a psychological test. This pervert should not have a badge or gun.

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8Nunya22(315 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

I hate when people abuse their job duties. I feel sorry for all the women that went through that whole ordeal with this cop

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9sallyfields(1 comment)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

I am not saying christy is innocent.These charges all came from Lake Milton They are the ones this has nothing to do with Lowellville. But if the incident happened at Kings motel in Coitsville why didn`t the officer on duty do a report. That is there area and not Lowellville. If the two girls were out shopping why would they even agree to meet him at a motel and better yet show up.If the complaints came in after he was hired at Lowellville tthen nothing came up on background check. The paper states the charges were filed in Sept 2009. He was already at Lowellville. All depts. do background checks and sometimes get letters of recomandation from former employers.I don`t understand why all this came up at Lake Milton till he left. Could all the girls be that afraid of him. Why didn`t they tell somebody or even their own families. I feel sorry for the victims and if the officer has a family with children what has he done to them. If guilty he I hope he gets the max. I am sure that Lowellvile Police would have done an investigation of the complaint.To bad we don`t know the whole story about it and only the parts that this reporter wants to tell.I would really like to know the rest of the report.Who was there and what all was said. I guess I am being nosey.
As far as putting the officer on unpaid leave before he got indicted well unfortunally he has legal rights also.

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10TB(1167 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

how did the women wind up at the motel if they didn't want to be there? I'm confused.

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11Landarch(7 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

havinmysay,

um, what do you think they do background checks for? look at the dates when everyone filed complaints, lowellville would not have known about the milton case because no report was filed until 1 year after.

also, it seems all of the story is not being told, though i do agree the guy needs to be out of the uniform considering the allegations. if he's found guilty, which it certainly seems there is misconduct throughout this story, then the facts are clear.

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12WykdVixen(1 comment)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

A story about the same police officer.

http://the-review.com/news/article/48...

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13Meesh79(2 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

I'm sorry but the guy is a disgusting,twisted,perverted freak that needs to be locked up in prison or an instituation. I first met jeff when we were all 15, he was a friend of a friend. He was disgusting and creepy even then. He would follow you everywhere, make perverse and sick comments and always try to touch you. Why didn't any of those women say anything? Well because the guy is the is so gross it scares you to death because he seems capable of anything....throw a gun and a badge on that guy.....I'd be terrified. I went out of my way to advoid him. I put that weirdo out of my head a long time ago. As soon as I saw his face on the news and heard the charges, I was only surprised he wasn't in jail. But to hear he was a cop, Jesus! I agree police should have to undergo psychological testing....I can't believe anyone let him become a cop. If he would have tried becoming a cop in the austintown area I would have raised a stink. He just went other places just a bit further from home where not too many people really knew him. He's sick. He needs help. I hope his badge is taken permanently.

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14hmm(183 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

he was on Lowellville for 2 years that makes it 2008 ----- complaints state the offenses happened in 2009 --- so Vance wouldn't see anything in Christy's background.. and alot of cops work at more then one department at one time because cops don't make alot of money contrary to people's belief........ If he did this stuff his done working as a public servent ----- better learn how to say "want fries with that" ...

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