Former Miami University police sergeant Dustin Young was found guilty of gross sexual imposition and abduction after groping a female co-worker and trying to coerce her to have sex with him.
Judge Michael A. Oster declared Young not guilty of two other felony charges — one count of kidnapping and a second count of abduction — on Friday, Oct. 13.
Young declined to be tried by a jury, opting for a bench trial. Judge Oster heard testimonies in court on Tuesday and Wednesday last week, including testimony from the alleged victim, said Kelly Heile, assistant prosecutor for Butler County.
The 36-year-old former officer worked at the university for 15 years before he was forced to resign after a university investigation found he was likely guilty of sexually harassing a female dispatcher.
Young was first put on administrative leave with pay Nov. 22 after a co-worker filed a complaint against him.
In a Dec. 23 memo from Miami’s Office of Equity and Equal Opportunity (OEEO), director Kenya D. Ash wrote that the OEEO found Young had “more likely than not” violated the university’s policies surrounding sexual harassment.
According to the memo, MUPD chief John McCandless told OEEO that a female dispatcher reported Young had assaulted her three times.
In a Nov. 30 interview with OEEO, the alleged victim described how Young had groped and sexually harrassed her while at work. She reported that Young had “put his arm between her legs and pulled her onto his lap” and “bit her on her neck and ear” and twice had “grabbed her shoulders and spun her against lockers trying to kiss her,” according to the document.
Young had also frequently made unwanted sexual comments to her, sent her texts and social media messages of a sexual nature and once sent her a video of him masturbating, she told OEEO.
The university interviewed over a dozen people during its investigation, including MUPD officers, and reviewed texts and emails sent between Young and the alleged victim. The City of Hamilton Police Department also conducted a criminal investigation into the allegations.
Young was first hired as police officer with MUPD in February 2002 and promoted to sergeant in November 2011. The alleged victim was hired in August 2012. Though she reports directly to the detective lieutenant, emergency dispatchers report to whichever supervisor is on duty and, therefore, she often reported to Young.
Interviews also revealed that Young had taken the alleged victim to the university airport multiple times to try to have sex with her, which she confirmed, saying that Young had told her “it was an easy place to get away with doing things.” She told the OEEO that she stopped going places with Young because every time they went anywhere he would rub her leg and hold her hand and “she knew what he wanted to do.”
During the OEEO investigation, Young denied most of the accusations but provided “inconsistent statements” throughout interviews, leading the OEEO to conclude he was not credible.
Young was indicted by a Butler County grand jury April 26. Last week’s hearings and Judge Oster’s ruling concluded Young’s criminal trial.
A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for Young in November, said Heile. Until then, Young is out on bond.