Wednesday, May 24, 2000

Sister pleads guilty, is fined for slapping Butler auditor

By Steve Kemme
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        UNION TOWNSHIP — Butler County Auditor Kay Rogers' sister was fined $100 Tuesday for slapping her face during an argument.

        Denise Schipper had been charged with domestic violence for the April 30 incident, but a special prosecutor allowed her to plead guilty to a less serious charge of disorderly conduct in Butler County Area III Court.

        “This was not a situation typical of their relationship,” Special Prosecutor Pamela Sears told visiting Judge Larry Moore. “This was an emotional situation, and both parties were under stress.”

        At Ms. Rogers' request, a magistrate had recommended dismissing the charge.

        But Ms. Sears and Judge Moore said they viewed the incident more seriously because it happened in front of children.

        “Certainly that's not something that sets a good example for the children,” Judge Moore said.

        Ms. Rogers called police to her house April 30 because her oldest son had not returned from a visitation with her former husband.

        Before police arrived, Ms. Rogers found out the boy had left his father's house, but was with Mrs. Schipper's daughter.

        “Mrs. Schipper arrived at the scene to smooth things over,” Ms. Sears said. “Words were exchanged.”

        A police officer who came to the house observed a red mark on Ms. Rogers' face, and Mrs. Schipper said she had slapped her, Ms. Sears said.

        If Mrs. Schipper had been convicted on a domestic violence charge, she could have received a maximum sentence of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

        This case reflects how domestic violence laws have changed in recent years, Ms. Sears said.

        Laws now permit police officers to file domestic violence charges without the consent of the victim.

        When one family member strikes another one, it “isn't just a family matter,” Ms. Sears said.

        “When police are called,” she said, “it's a community matter.”


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