A former Butler County Sheriff’s deputy accused of trying to take photos up women’s dresses at a grocery store denied the charges today in Middletown Municipal Court.
But two women testified they saw Dennis Schiavone pushing a cart at the Kroger store on Oxford State Road July 2 with a cellphone anchored in the front bottom portion of his cart.
Schiavone Jr., 43, of Trenton, was charged with attempted voyeurism, a second-degree misdemeanor.
The bench trial was tried before Visiting Judge Thomas Hanna, who said after two hours of testimony that he would review the evidence and issue a written decision.
Kayla Tribbey told the judge the man she identified as Schiavone pushed his cart very close to her in the dairy aisle and she saw a bag of potatoes holding down a cellphone in his cart.
“I thought it was odd,” Tribbey said. “I put my dress between my legs because I had a funny feeling about what was happening.”
When she turned around, Schiavone turned away.
“I saw the same man getting close to another woman,” Tribbey said, noting she then approached the woman.
That woman, Brittney Lopez, testified she saw Schiavone, whom she pointed out at the defense table, in a frozen food aisle with a cellphone on the very bottom of his cart.
Tribbey said she first contacted store management and they were unable to help her or find the man. When she got to the parking lot the man she saw was getting into a vehicle beside her. She wrote down the license plate and contacted detectives. The vehicle was registered to Dennis Schiavone Jr.
Store video was played for the judge showing Schiavone and the two women in the store. Schiavone appears to have a bag, which he identified as onions, on the bottom of the cart. At one point he does approach Tribbey near an aisle, and he also is seen inspecting the bottom of his cart in another video and looking at his watch.
The videos also show Schiavone glancing at his smartwatch while pushing the cart.
Attorney Frank Schiavone IV, who is Schiavone Jr.’s cousin, pointed out the video does not show Tribbey pushing her dress between her legs and the video of Schiavone Jr. at the checkout shows him pulling his cellphone from his pants pocket.
But Prosecutor Ashley Bretland pointed out the bag of produce was pushed farther back on the cart in the checkout video and store video show Schiavone Jr. approaching three women in the store who were wearing dresses.
Schiavone Jr. was the only defense witness, denying he attempted to record anyone with his phone on July 2.
“I was shopping at Kroger that day,” Schiavone said, noting he was buying ingredients to make Italian sandwiches.
Schiavone Jr. said he stopped to check the onions on the bottom of his cart after smelling something bad.
“I thought I might have had some bad onions,” he said.
Schiavone Jr. said he has a white cellphone that is attached to his wallet and answered “never” when asked if he placed it at the bottom of his shopping cart.
Defense attorneys pointed out deputies seized a number of electronics from Schiavone Jr.,’s residence but found no evidence of any recordings made at the Kroger store.
In 2003, Schiavone was convicted of sexual battery and contributing to the delinquency of a minor for having sexual conduct with a 17-year-old student while he was a school resource officer in Madison Local Schools. He served a six-month jail sentence, was placed on five years probation and was declared a sexually oriented offender.