Friday, July 28, 2000

Sheriff's official fired in teen-sex case

Mason man accused of misconduct with boy at summer camp

By Janice Morse
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        HAMILTON — A 37-year-old Mason man was fired Thursday from his job as the Butler County Sheriff's communications coordinator over accusations of sexual misconduct involving a teen-age boy.

        Dale Stewart, who had held his job for two months, faces a sexual battery charge. Mr. Stewart could not be reached for comment Thursday.

        He is accused of having sex with a 15-year-old Hamilton boy in 1998 at a summer camp, said Maj. Anthony Dwyer of the sheriff's office.

        Sheriff's investigators be gan checking into Mr. Stewart's conduct on Wednesday, officials said, after two members of a local Explorers post talked with authorities. Explorers is a group for youths interested in law enforcement careers.

        “When Sheriff Gabbard was made aware of it, he made it a priority 1 investi gation,” Maj. Dwyer said.

        Neither of the two youths who talked to authorities had been sexually assaulted, although they charged that Mr. Stewart made remarks and acted in ways that made them feel uncomfortable, Maj. Dwyer said.

        The boys' comments led investigators on Thursday to the Hamilton youth, now 17.

        Maj. Dwyer said detectives on Thursday were not aware of any other charges in connection with the Explorers and Mr. Stewart, who had been involved with the post for many years.

        Maj. Dwyer said the investigation is continuing. If more evidence of possible crimes is found, he said, it likely would be presented to a grand jury for additional charges.

        Mr. Stewart formerly worked for the Emergency Management agencies in Butler and Warren counties, and before that had worked as a Butler sheriff's dispatcher, Maj. Dwyer said.

        The sheriff's office rehired Mr. Stewart because of his expertise with radio systems, officials said.


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