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Press Release

Jury convicts former Columbus vice officer of civil rights violation

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

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A federal jury has convicted a former Columbus vice officer with conspiring to violate an individual’s constitutional rights. 


The verdict was announced yesterday evening following a trial that began on Feb. 14 before U.S. District Judge Sarah D. Morrison.


Steven G. Rosser, 45, of Delaware, was employed with the Columbus Division of Police for 19 years and assigned as a detective in CPD’s vice unit from April 2013 until October 2018.


According to court documents and trial testimony, in 2018, Rosser and others conspired to deprive one of the owners of the Dollhouse, a gentlemen’s club on Karl Court, of his civil rights by seizing and searching him and his vehicle without probable cause in violation of the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. At trial, the government presented evidence that Rosser was part of a scheme to frame the victim for cocaine possession.   


Rosser was indicted by a federal grand jury and arrested in March 2020.


Conspiracy to violate a person’s civil rights is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.


Kenneth L. Parker, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; J. William Rivers, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Division; Columbus Police Chief Elaine Bryant; Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost; Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) Superintendent Joseph Morbitzer; and Ohio Auditor of State Keith Faber announced the verdict.


Assistant United States Attorneys Kevin W. Kelley and Noah R. Litton are representing the United States in this case. The case was investigated by the FBI’s Southern Ohio Public Corruption Task Force, which includes special agents and officers from the FBI, Ohio Attorney General’s BCI, the Ohio Auditor of State’s Office and the Columbus Division of Police.


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Updated February 23, 2022

Civil Rights