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Press Release

Former Erie County Sheriff Sergeant Charged with Deprivation of Rights

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Ohio

First Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle M. Baeppler announced that a former Sergeant with the Erie County Sheriff’s Office was charged in a one-count indictment with deprivation of rights.

According to the indictment, Adam Bess, 34, of Sandusky, is accused of choking a victim while acting under the color of law on or about November 1, 2021.  The indictment states that Bess, acting as a law enforcement officer, willfully used unreasonable force on the victim.  It is alleged that, as a result of this offense, the victim suffered bodily injury.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt.  The defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the court after a review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offenses and the characteristics of the violation.  In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum; in most cases, it will be less than the maximum.

This case was investigated by the Toledo FBI and the Erie County Sheriff’s Office.   This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael J. Freeman and Tracey B. Tangeman.


Daniel Ball

Updated February 27, 2024

Civil Rights