Monday, July 29, 2002

Ex-officer on trial for mall rape, kidnapping

By Janice Morse
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        HAMILTON - A former Butler County sheriff's deputy goes on trial today on charges alleging he forced a woman into a sex act while he was working off-duty as a Fairfield mall security guard.

        Kirk Alan Kash, 37, of Colerain Township, resigned from the sheriff's office this year, shortly after he was accused in connection with a Jan. 18 incident in the Forest Fair Mall parking garage. A 19-year-old woman reported being sexually assaulted there, and Fairfield police impounded Mr. Kash's 2001 Jeep Cherokee.

        Mr. Kash's trial before Butler County Common Pleas Judge Matthew Crehan is expected to last three days. He faces three counts of rape and a count of kidnapping - four first-degree felonies total, each carrying a sentence of 3-10 years if he's convicted.

        “For the most part, people like to believe that police officers are the good guys...The concept of a police officer breaking the law is not something people like to hear about,” Assistant Prosecutor Steve Tolbert said.

        The rape charges allege Mr. Kash forced the woman into three sex acts; the kidnapping charge alleges “she was held against her will,” he said.

        Mr. Kash's attorney, Jim Cooney, declined to comment; Mr. Kash didn't return a phone call.

        The former officer, who has been free on his promise to appear in court, formerly served as an officer in Sharonville. He had been an auxiliary officer there, then worked full-time in 1998-99.

        His personnel file contains commendations from a number of citizens, as well as complaints about his use of profanity, off-color sexual remarks and repeated damage to police cruisers.

        Mr. Kash underwent sexual harassment sensitivity training in February 1998 at Scarlet Oaks Center for Employment Resources.


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