Deputy Pleads Not Guilty To Improperly Touching Ice Cream Shop Worker

ELYRIA, Ohio (AP) - A veteran Lorain County sheriff's deputy was

arraigned on Wednesday just days after he was
arrested on a charge that he improperly touched a woman at an ice cream shop.

Stephen Lewis, 51, of Elyria, was arrested Friday on a felony count of gross sexual imposition.

Lewis was taken to the Lorain County Jail and released on a $3,000 personal bond.

He faced a judge on Wednesday and pleaded not guilty.

A female worker at a Dairy Queen told police in January that Lewis improperly touched her on Dec. 27, 2001, while he was on duty.

Lewis started his police career as a dispatcher in the Sheriff's Department in 1976. He became a deputy in 1983.

Lewis resigned in March, Chief Deputy Tim Mahar said. The resignation was related to his excessive absenteeism at work and abuse of sick time, Mahar said.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)