Saturday, September 04, 1999

Ky. patrolman resigns in sex case


Charges filed include impersonating Cincinnati officer

BY TANYA BRICKING
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Villa Hills Police Officer Paul S. Smith has resigned following charges that he posed as a Cincinnati police officer and solicited sex.

        Villa Hills police hired him unaware that he pleaded guilty in 1997 to a misdemeanor sexual-imposition charge for soliciting sex from an undercover Cincinnati police officer.

        When Officer Smith was investi gated in the most recent sex case, he resigned last week as a patrolman on the Villa Hills force.

        “Obviously, in the police field, we never want to be surprised by something like this,” Villa Hills Detective Joe Schutzman said.

        Criminal checks on Officer Smith never revealed his misdemeanor conviction. And he had experience, including being an officer in Alexandria.

        The 35-year-old Newport man offered no reason for quitting in his Aug. 24 resignation letter.

        Cincinnati police say he faces charges of importuning (soliciting gay sex) and impersonating a police officer Aug. 20 near The Dock bar downtown on Pete Rose Way. According to the charges, Officer Smith solicited a man for sex and then showed his badge, claiming he was a Cincinnati officer.

        When the man complained to Cincinnati officers and gave them a license plate number, officers tracked it to Officer Smith's unmarked Villa Hills police car.

        While he faces misdemeanor charges in Cincinnati, his resignation means there will be no investigation in Villa Hills, Detective Schutzman said.

        But the department is looking for ways to screen applicants more carefully, he said.

       



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