State v. Ferguson
CHARGE(S): 2 counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor (fourth degree felony)
POTENTIAL PUNISHMENT: 3 years in prison, classification as a sex offender, loss of police powers
VENUE: Butler County, Hamilton, Ohio
ALLEGATION: An African-American police officer met an underaged 15-year-old white girl on the internet, provided false name and portrayed himself as being 17-years-old. Thereafter, the police officer engaged the girl in electronic and telephonic sexual conversations and ultimately a sexual relationship. (Unfortunately, race can be an issue that unduly influences the outcome of a criminal case. The race of the defendant and the victim in this case was included to demonstrate that Mr. Bennett has experience successfully neutralizing the issue of race.)
DISPOSITION: Trial by jury
RESULT: Not guilty of both felony counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor. Officer Ferguson was convicted of the lesser charge of sexual imposition, a third degree misdemeanor. He was sentenced to probation (no jail time) and sustained no loss of police powers.