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Published: Tuesday, May 29, 2018 @ 2:10 AM
— UPDATE @ 10:07 a.m.:
The former Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office Captain accused in a pepper spray incident at the jail pleaded guilty today to disorderly conduct, a lesser charge than the originally filed assault charge.
The decision was part of a plea deal.
Judith Sealey was sentenced to 30 days in jail, with that time suspended, meaning she will not serve jail time.
She also was placed on five years probation and has to surrender all law enforcement certification and give up her right to seek to be re-certified as a law enforcement officer.
Sealey was a sergeant at the time of the incident.
Sealey declined to make a statement during her appearance.
Then-Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Judith Sealey pepper-sprayed restrained inmate Amber Swink on Nov. 15, 2015 in the Montgomery County Jail.
Capt. Sealey — who retired last year on medical disability — could be criminally sentenced for that act, more than 2 ½ years after it happened.
Sealey’s misdemeanor assault trial set for today was converted into a pretrial and sentencing hearing, according to Dayton Municipal Court documents.
Visiting Judge Chris Martin, formerly of Fairfield County, is presiding over the case to avoid the perception of a conflict of interest.
Similarly, Cincinnati city prosecutors, who took the case from Dayton City Prosecutor Stephanie Cook, reached a plea agreement with Sealey’s attorney Anthony VanNoy.
A joint motion approved last week by Martin shows Cincinnati city prosecutors and VanNoy “have reached a negotiated plea agreement and wish to avoid unnecessary inconvenience to the court and prospective jurors.”
The motion does not address what the plea agreement is or if Sealey will serve any jail time, probation or fines.
Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer has said Sealey was disciplined for not filing a use of force report, but not for her actions, which he said were wrong but that he didn’t see until he saw them online.
In the 2 ½ years since Sealey pepper-sprayed an allegedly belligerent Swink who was in a 7-point harness, the incident became a national news story.
VanNoy did not return a message seeking comment. Cincinnati prosecutors have said they will not comment on pending cases.
The video posted by Swink’s civil attorney Douglas Brannon sparked a lawsuit settled for $375,000, an internal Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office investigation, a federal probe and calls for jail oversight.
That could all end today with a misdemeanor plea and sentencing, if the hearing goes forward as scheduled.