Top Ohio juvi officer quits under cloud

By Randy Ludlow
The Columbus Dispatch

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The deputy superintendent of a juvenile-detention facility resigned shortly after being accused of sexually assaulting a female guard in his office.

The State Highway Patrol and Department of Youth Services are investigating the allegation against Wesley Vinson.

Vinson, 38, of Columbus, worked in the adult prison system for nearly 11 years before becoming deputy superintendent at Marion Juvenile Correctional Facility.

On March 17, corrections officer Christine Tate reported that Vinson briefly restrained her and sexually assaulted her while she sat in a chair in his office.

A State Highway Patrol incident report describes a sexual-battery investigation of a suspect having "inappropriate sexual contact with the victim in an administrative office."

Vinson denies the accusation. He was placed on paid leave, then resigned March 20.

Tate, a 29-year-old Delaware resident, also filed a sexual-discrimination complaint with the Equal Opportunity Division of the Department of Administrative Services.

Tate, who said she had passed a lie-detector test when questioned about the incident, said yesterday that she continues to await the outcome of the investigations.

Vinson, who earned $64,604 a year, was in charge of security and custody at the Marion facility, which houses about 300 of Ohio's oldest and worst youth offenders. He began working there in May.

Vinson worked at the Madison Correctional Institution near London and the Ohio Reformatory for Women in Marysville between 1996 and 2007.

His personnel file with the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction shows no disciplinary actions and includes generally positive job reviews from superiors.

Vinson could not be reached for comment. His last listed home telephone number has been disconnected.

Copyright 2008 The Columbus Dispatch

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