Source: Cincinnati Post (OH)
Pubdate: Tue, 30 Mar 1999
Author: Kimball Perry, Post staff reporter


But prosecutor will appeal ruling

A prosecutor said today he will appeal a ruling that could lead to dismissal
of charges that fired Cincinnati police Sgt. John Sess planted drugs on a

Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Robert Ruehlman granted a motion
Monday to suppress a statement by Sess in which he admitted planting
marijuana in 1984 on Shadarle Ragan.

That means Special Prosecutor James Beaton, from Warren County, can't use at
the trial Sess' statement - or any evidence gathered as a result of that

'My feeling is his ruling effectively kills the case,' Beaton said after
Ruehlman ruled.

Today, though, Beaton said he would appeal Ruehlman's ruling to a higher

'The state would have ultimately found this information out at some later
time,' Beaton said. Sess attorney James Perry argued, with supporting
testimony from former and current Cincinnati police officers, that Sess only
admitted to the specifics about the charges against him after police began
an internal, non-criminal case and promised Sess immunity from prosecution.

Sess was a 24-year police veteran when he applied for a job with the
Regional Enforcement Narcotics Unit.

As he was about to be given a lie detector test as part of his job
application, he was asked if he'd done anything that could embarrass the

That's when he said he planted marijuana on Ragan 13 years earlier.

When cops read Sess his rights, he demanded a lawyer and refused to talk.

Later, after police said they were conducting an internal investigation and
granted him immunity, Sess gave them details.

But Hamilton County prosecutors, who were later replaced by the special
prosecutor, said they - not police - would decide if Sess received immunity.

He didn't and they presented evidence against him to a Hamilton County grand
jury, which then indicted him on that evidence in 1997.

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