Police Chief Indicted On Rape Charge

MEDINA, Ohio (AP) - A township police chief was indicted on charges of rape, gross sexual imposition and burglary.

Lafayette Township trustees suspended Police Chief Rick Schmidt, 36, with pay in July when a township woman claimed that he raped her when he went to her home to take a report about harassing telephone calls.

Sheriff Neil Hassinger said Schmidt initially told investigators he had no "sexual contact at all with this woman." But Hassinger said DNA evidence collected in the case left "no doubt in our mind that it was him."

A Medina County grand jury heard the case last week and the secret indictment was made public Wednesday after Schmidt turned himself in at the Medina County Jail.

County Prosecutor Dean Holman said the indictments involve two victims.

The burglary charge involved another Medina County woman in 1997 at her home, according to the indictment.

Medina County Common Pleas Judge James Kimbler signed a court order allowing Schmidt to be released if he posts $15,000 of a $150,000 bond.

Schmidt has been Lafayette's police chief for about 2½ years. He was a patrolman and sergeant for the Lodi Police Department for nine years.

Schmidt's lawyer, John Dolatowski of Medina, said he had not seen the indictments against his client and would have no comment. He said he stood behind a July statement in which he denied guilt on behalf of his client.

Lafayette Township is about 30 miles southwest of Cleveland.

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