Attorneys Ian Friedman, Brad Wolfe, and Mark DeVan secured a just and monumental decision on behalf of their client, Antonio Williamson, in the Summit County Court of Common Pleas.
In 2017, Mr. Williamson, a Summit County Sheriff’s Deputy, was charged with five felonies, including rape and other sex offenses. In 2018, Mr. Williamson was also charged with ten felonies for violating OHLEG, which is the law enforcement database. The charges were severed, and he was acquitted by jury of all sex offenses in March of 2020.
During the pendency of the cases, Sheriff’s disciplinary records were acquired, which resulted in the filing of a Motion to Dismiss the OHLEG charges due to selective prosecution of Mr. Williamson. He is African American. The attorneys argued that their client was terminated from his employment and indicted because of his race. Hearings ensued that focused on the history of white deputies in the department not being similarly sanctioned for conduct beyond that in which their client was even accused. This week, the trial Court issued a fourteen-page decision GRANTING the Motion and dismissed all remaining counts.
This case exposes the implicit and explicit bias in police investigation and charging. The case is captioned State of Ohio v. Williamson, Case No. 2017-07-2512.