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Press Release

Jury finds former Pike County deputy guilty of excessive use of force

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

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A federal jury has convicted a Piketon man of committing civil rights violations while employed as a Pike County deputy.

Jeremy C. Mooney, 48, violated a victim’s constitutional rights on Nov.18, 2019, while the victim was in the custody of the Pike County Sheriff’s Office. 

The verdict was announced today following a trial that began on Aug. 16 before U.S. District Judge Edmund A. Sargus, Jr.

According to court documents and trial testimony, Mooney repeatedly used pepper spray and struck the victim while the victim was restrained and not posing a threat.

Mooney was working the night shift that spanned Nov. 17 to 18, 2019. He transported the victim from the jail to the Pike County Sheriff’s Office headquarters and placed the victim in a “violent prisoner restraint chair.”

For more than an hour, Mooney unlawfully used force against the victim on several occasions. For example, Mooney dragged the victim – who was in the restraint chair with his hands secured behind his back – outside, before spraying him directly in the face with pepper spray.

The victim writhed in pain and tipped the chair back off the curb, landing on his back. Mooney again deployed the pepper spray directly into the victim’s face.

After bringing the victim back inside, Mooney returned to the restrained victim on three more occasions and punched the victim in the head 11 times. Mooney punched the victim with enough force to break his own hand.

All these unlawful uses of force occurred while the victim posed no threat to himself or others.

A former Pike County Sheriff’s Office supervisor, William Stansberry, Jr., 47, of Chillicothe, was also charged in this case. Stansberry violated the victim’s constitutional rights by willfully failing to intervene to prevent Mooney’s conduct.

Stansberry pleaded guilty in July 2023 to deprivation of civil rights under color of law. Mooney was convicted today of three counts of the same crime, which is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Kenneth L. Parker, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; Kristen Clarke, Assistant Attorney General of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division; and J. William Rivers, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Division, announced the verdict. Assistant United States Attorney Peter K. Glenn-Applegate and Trial Attorney Cameron A. Bell from the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division are representing the United States in this case.

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Updated August 23, 2023

Civil Rights