Montgomery County Jail pepper-spray incident leads to sentencing for former deputy

Published: Tuesday, May 29, 2018 @ 2:10 AM

News Center 7's Mike Campbell reports that a former sheriff's deputy avoided jail time after she was caught on surveillance video pepper-spraying a woman in the Montgomery County Jail.

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.

VIDEO: Plea deal reached in jail pepper-spray case

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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.

INITIAL REPORT:

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.

VIDEO: Plea deal reached in jail pepper-spray case

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.

RELATED: No plea deal yet in jail pepper spray case

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.”

RELATED: Jail captain in pepper-spray case takes medical retirement

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.

RELATED: Former jail sergeant alleges cover-up of pepper-spray incident

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.

RELATED: Complete timeline of pepper-spray incident at Montgomery County Jail

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.

SPECIAL PROJECT: Justice in the Jailhouse: Lawsuits, accusations plague region’s county jails

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