Former Ohio sheriff’s deputy sentenced to over 8 years after excessive force incident in 2019

A former Pike County deputy was sentenced last week to prison for federal civil rights violations involving excessive force against a victim by pepper spraying and punching him in their head while he was in custody.

According to a statement from the U.S Department of Justice’s Office of Public Affairs, Jeremy C. Mooney, 49, was convicted by a federal jury in August 2023 on two counts of violating a victim’s constitutional rights by pepper spraying and punching the victim in the head, while the victim was in the custody of the Pike County Sheriff’s Office and posed no threat to himself or others

A jury found that Mooney’s offenses involved the use of a dangerous weapon and resulted in bodily injury. He has been sentenced to 100 months of prison and three years of supervised release.

“This defendant is being sentenced for the violent assault of an inmate who was confined to a restraint chair and unable to protect himself or escape from the abuse,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “All people in our country have a right to be free from excessive force by law enforcement officers. The Justice Department will continue to prosecute law enforcement officers who willfully violate the civil rights of the people they are sworn to protect and serve.”

On Nov. 18 2019, Mooney transported the victim from the jail to the Pike County Sheriff’s Office headquarters, according to court documents and trial testimony. The victim was placed in a restraint chair and then the victim’s hands were secured behind his back.

“For more than an hour, Mooney unlawfully used force against the victim on several occasions,” the release said.

Mooney dragged the victim outside and pepper sprayed him directly in the face, the release continued. The victim writhed in pain and tipped the chair back off the curb, landing on his back. Mooney stood over the victim and pepper sprayed the victim’s face for a second time, before taking the victim back inside the building and walking away.

He returned to the building over the course of several minutes and punched the victim in the head 11 times.

“Mooney punched the victim with enough force to break his own hand,” the statement read.

A former Pike County Sheriff’s Office supervisor, William Stansberry Jr., 47, of Chillicothe, Ohio, was also charged for violating the victim’s constitutional rights by willfully failing to intervene.

He pleaded guilty in July 2023 to “deprivation of civil rights under color of law” and was sentenced on March 5 to six months in prison. Stansberry was also ordered to serve three years of supervised release, with the first six months to be served under home detention.

The FBI Cincinnati Field Office investigated the case.

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