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Press Release

Grand jury indicts Columbus police officer with crimes related to turning off body worn camera during encounters with women while on duty

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

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A federal grand jury has indicted a Columbus police officer, charging him with two counts of destroying or altering records related to a criminal investigation.

Nicholas P. Duty, 35, of Commercial Point, Ohio, was arrested this morning and is scheduled to appear in federal court at 12:45pm today.

According to the indictment that was returned yesterday and unsealed today, on two occasions, Duty destroyed, altered or falsified records by purposefully deactivating or removing his police body worn camera. It is alleged Duty’s actions were intended to impede, obstruct or influence a federal investigation.

Specifically, it is alleged that on Oct. 31, 2023, and March 22, 2024, Duty deactivated or removed his body worn camera during interactions with two women, including during a sexual encounter.

During the alleged incidents, Duty was on duty, wearing a police uniform, in a marked police vehicle and assigned a body worn camera. He knew he was required to comply with Columbus Division of Police policies for wearing the division-issued camera.

Knowingly altering records to obstruct a federal investigation is a crime punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

United States Attorney Kenneth L. Parker, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, Columbus Police Chief Elaine Bryant, U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF) Special Agent in Charge Daryl S. McCormick, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Acting Special Agent in Charge Shawn Gibson, and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Special Agent in Charge Elena Iatarola announced the charges.

Assistant United States Attorneys Emily Czerniejewski and Kevin W. Kelley are representing the United States in this case, which is being investigated by the Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission’s Central Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force.

Anyone with information about the alleged criminal activity or knowledge of additional possible crimes is encouraged to contact the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) at 855-BCI-OHIO (855-224-6336).

An indictment merely contains allegations, and defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.

Updated April 21, 2024