A dozen former inmates at the Portage County Jail are now claiming abuse

Submitted sworn affidavits to County Commissioners.

A dozen former inmates at the Portage County Jail are now claiming abuse

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Many of the inmates who made complaints of mistreatment at the Portage County Jail are now locked up at the Lake Erie Correctional Institution in Conneaut.

Multiple sources and legal filings tell 19 News a team of detectives from Portage County recently came to Conneaut to interview those inmates.

The complaints and a lawsuit point to a particularly brutal spot inside the jail: The court hallway.

In the past, a former inmate described it as a discipline unit with no furniture. Just a sink and a toilet. The temperature was described as freezing cold.

Inmate Zack Zelenak wrote to commissioners that he was held in the court hallway on a concrete floor, was beaten and pepper sprayed.

Similar complaints came from Jason Knisley, Brandon Johnson, and David Smith.

Inmate Daniel Bosak says he was there for three days and put in a restraining chair while a corrections officer shaved off his dreadlocks.

Inmate Richard Selter says he was kept there three months.

So far, Sheriff David Doak has refused to confirm the investigation.

In the meantime, complaints to Portage County Commissioners continue to pile up.

Michael Rupe’s sworn affidavit says he was threatened with violence when he requested medical treatment.

Mitchell White says the toilet in his cell didn’t work for 10 days. He also swears that he saw another inmate pushed down a flight of stairs by a corrections officer.

In a complaint to County Commissioners, Christopher Brock says he was tasked with cleaning up blood, urine and feces from inmates beaten by officers.

More than one inmate or family members has contacted 19 News raising the question.

With such wide-ranging complaints, should the Portage County Sheriff’s Office be investigating itself?

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