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Monday, April 16th, 2012

Deal nixes sex case, Kimpel to resign

By Shelley Grieshop
SIDNEY - A sexual assault charge against the former Shelby County sheriff is set for dismissal in Auglaize County after he struck a deal with prosecutors to plead no contest to illegally using a computer or telecommunications device.
The deal also will forever bar suspended Shelby County Sheriff Dean Kimpel from working in law enforcement or possessing a weapon, a special prosecutor said.
Kimpel, 57, on Friday pleaded no contest in Shelby County Common Pleas Court to a single felony count of unauthorized use of a computer, cable or telecommunication device. He allegedly used the state's computer system to perform personal background checks on several women.
In a plea agreement, the Shelby County charge was amended from unauthorized use of a government computer; four other charges of the same were dismissed. Kimpel faces six months to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine at sentencing June 8.
The sexual assault charge to be dismissed accuses Kimpel of assaulting former deputy Jodi Van Fossen in her Wapakoneta home in July 2010. He was indicted in September and had pleaded not guilty to the felony charge. He faced a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
Miami County Special Prosecutor Gary Nasal refused to say at this time why he chose not to prosecute Kimpel in that case.
At sentencing for illegal use of a computer, Kimpel must formally resign as sheriff. He voluntarily accepted a job suspension last fall after being indicted in the sexual assault case and remains on paid administrative leave.
Terms of the sentencing also include an order to have no contact with Van Fossen.
Kimpel's attorney, Michael Rumor of Lima, earlier this year sought dismissal of the Auglaize County case and/or suppression of evidence. Following the events in Shelby County on Friday, Auglaize County Common Pleas Court Judge Frederick Pepple denied the pending motions and ordered the case continued until after the sentencing in Shelby County in June. Nasal said terminating the Auglaize County case prior to sentencing "theoretically" could allow Kimpel to return to his job as sheriff.
Former sheriff John Lenhart currently serves as interim sheriff and is seeking election at the polls in November.
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