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Narcotics officer pleads not guilty to 8 charges

The head of the Narcotics Enforcement Team pleaded not guilty yesterday to all eight charges stemming from several incidents last year — and will remain on paid leave.

Jerry Hallowell, 44, pleaded not guilty to four counts of sexual battery, one count of bribery, one count of attempt to commit sexual battery, one count of theft in office and one count of unauthorized use of Ohio Law Enforcement Gateway.

Three of the sexual battery charges stemmed from incidents on Aug. 6, Sept. 3 and Sept. 5. On those dates, Hallowell allegedly had unlawful sexual contact with an undercover informant.

The fourth sexual battery charge occurred between April 27 and June 16 with a different individual. The attempted sexual battery charge happened on Sept. 9, when Hallowell was found at the Super 8 motel, at 2091 E. State St., with the informant and an unknown female during an arranged sexual encounter.

Hallowell’s previous bond of $50,000 was already posted and continues. The bond stipulates that Hallowell cannot leave Ohio, cannot possess alcohol or illegal drugs and cannot have contact with any witnesses involved in the case.

The bond requires Hallowell to report to the Community Control Department every seven days and give all his firearms up to either the Athens Police Department or the Athens County Sheriff’s Office. Hallowell cannot possess any firearms.

Hallowell waived his right to a speedy trial. He is scheduled to reappear in court June 9 for a preliminary hearing. His trial is set to begin Aug. 2.

Hallowell could spend a maximum of 29 years in prison and pay a maximum fine of $62,500 if convicted of all charges, according to the Ohio Revised Code.

Sheriff Pat Kelly said that a decision about whether Hallowell will remain on paid leave has not been made yet.

“At this point, he still is (on paid leave),” Kelly said. A decision will come soon (about whether he will remain on it through the trial).”


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