Benjamin J. Marrison commentary: In sex case, why did we identify only firefighters?

Jul 21, 2013 | Posted by: roboblogger | Full story: The Columbus Dispatch

Though I've spent 30-plus years in newsrooms, I still marvel at internal conversations about how best to present the details in some stories.

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1 - 18 of 18 Comments Last updated Jul 25, 2013
Mantra

Dublin, OH

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#1
Jul 21, 2013
 
Your article was well written and informative.
Joe Reader

Findlay, OH

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#2
Jul 21, 2013
 

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I think the media is the media. Truth will only go so far.
Joe Reader

Findlay, OH

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#3
Jul 21, 2013
 
The media is the media. The truth will only go so far.
Truth

Findlay, OH

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#4
Jul 21, 2013
 

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Dear Mr. Marrison:

Now, after the public who read your work realizes that they are being handed Kool Aid, I am sure many realize that selective responsible journalism, isn’t responsible journalism. Your article about Cain and why you did what you did is interesting. Certainly, the situation should or could be considered news. Cain hasn’t been charged with a crime; however, you reported the story. Cain denied having sex with his mistress at the station; you still reported the story. Frankly, to my knowledge, Cain hasn’t even been disciplined; however, you reported the story. If his mistress recants down the road, you will still have reported the story. Where your credibility and that of the dispatch crumbles is in the “selectiveness” of the “responsible journalism” to which you claim to engage. When one thinks of a story that makes Cain’s conduct pale in comparison, one need look no further that your own newsroom. Buried in the pile of “What is newsworthy but lets sweep it under the Rug”. As you are well aware, Sgt. Terry McConnell of the Columbus PD is a Supervisor in the SVU. That is the unit that investigates and prosecutes sex crimes. When you look at the documentation that is in your possession, you will see that McConnell reported a burglary at his Reynoldsburg home. The report and burglary were suspicious in and of themselves but once the R.P.D. investigated, they came up with the name of a young boy whose fingerprints matched those retrieved from McConnell’s residence. McConnell was questioned about the name of the young boy and whether he knew the child and as this fiasco began to unravel, he was forced to admit that he did know the child. In fact the investigating officer interviewed McConnell who ultimately admitted to meeting young boys on a gay internet website and seeking them out for “dates”. During interviews, it was established that McConnell had anal sex with the young boys at his home. McConnell claimed that he did not know the age of the boys which is laughable because you would think that a Detective with Columbus Police who is meeting unknown boys on the internet and taking them back to his home would certainly inquire as the their ages. The case was referred by the detectives from Reynoldsburg for Felony prosecution for at least Gross Sexual Imposition but miraculously, it has been buried in hopes that everyone will forget; kind of like what the dispatch is doing. Letting it linger hoping that it can soon head to the shredder because everyone has forgotten. I guess that is part of responsible and professional journalism. How does an agency claim to protect children and prosecute child molesters when it hides and protects one of their own who admitted to more than enough facts to warrant indictment and undoubtedly obtain a conviction. The reports on McConnell are public record. One can only wonder what would happen to McConnell if he were charged and arrested and O’Brien goes on T.V. encouraging other “victims” to come forward. But for now, McConnell will enjoy the protection of the brass. Who by their cover-up are endorsing his conduct. To add to the reality of these facts, Detective Amy Welch, McConnell’s subordinate and close friend on the Special Victim’s Unit, assisted MAC by going out of her jurisdiction and into that of Reynoldsburg to interview to protect McConnell. She had no authority to engage in any investigation pertaining to McConnell. Ironic, how a detective in the SVU meets children on the internet for “dates” takes them back to his home, is investigated and he is referred for felony prosecution and another Detective in that same SVU department works to cover-up his indiscretion. Not every CPD officer is happy with how our department covers this up. What is good for CFD should be good for CPD.

Thank you for your article. Keep feeding the public the kool aid. Much more to come.

Sincerely,
Non Kool Aid Drinking Citizen
Sadened

Dublin, OH

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#5
Jul 21, 2013
 

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This is all public record. To think that the County Prosecutor turned the other cheek on this and CPD covered it up. There were at least two minors involved with this Police Detective. I am not sure why the Firefighter was dragged through the mud when they fail to report this.
They cannot kill a Spook

Clayton, MI

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#6
Jul 21, 2013
 

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Truth wrote:
Dear Mr. Marrison:
Now, after the public who read your work realizes that they are being handed Kool Aid, I am sure many realize that selective responsible journalism, isn’t responsible journalism. Ytion; you still reported the story. Frankly, to my knowledge, Cain hasn’t even been disciplined; however, you reported the story. If his mistress recants down the road, you will still have reported the story. Where your credibility anlism” to which you claim to engage. When one thinks of a story that makes Cain’s conduct pale in comparison, one need look no further that your own newsroom. Buried in the pile of “What is newsworthy but lets sweep it under the Rug”. As you are well aware, Sgt. Terry McConnell of the Columbus PD is a Supervisor in the SVU. That is the unit that investigates and prosecutes sex crimes. When you look at the documentation that is in your possession, you will see that McConnell reported a burglary at his Reynoldsburg home. The report and burglary were suspicious in and of themselves but once the R.P.D. investigated, they came up with the name of a young boy whose fingerprints matched those retrieved from McConnell’s residence. McConnell was questioned about the name of the young boy and whether he knew the child and as this fiasco began to unravel, he was forced to admit that he did know the child. In fact the investigating officer interviewed McConnell who ultimately admitted to meeting young boys on a gay internet website and seeking them out for “dates”. During interviews, it was established that McConnell had anal sex with the young boys at his home. McConnell claimed that he did not know the age of the boys which is laughable because you would think that a Detective with Columbus Police who is meeting unknown boys on the internet and taking them back to his home would certainly inquire as the their ages. The case was referred by the detectives from Reynoldsburg for Felony prosecution for at least Gross Sexual Imposition but miraculously, it has been buried in hopes that everyone will forget; kind of like what the dispatch is doing. Letting it linger hoping that it can soon head to the shredder because everyone has forgotten. I guess that is part of responsible and professional journalism. How does an agency claim to protect children and prosecute child molesters when it hides and protects one of their own who admitted to more than enough facts to warrant indictment and undoubtedly obtain a conviction. The reports on McConnell are public record. One can only wonder what would happen to McConnell if he were charged and arrested and O’Brien goes on T.V. encouraging other “victims” to come forward. But for now, McConnell will enjoy the protection of the brass. Who by their cover-up are endorsing his conduct. To add to the reality of these facts, Detective Amy Welch, McConnell’s subordinate and close friend on the Special Victim’s Unit, assisted MAC by going out of her jurisdiction and into that of Reynoldsburg to interview to protect McConnell. She had no authority to engage in any investigation pertaining to McConnell. Ironic, how a detective in the SVU meets children on the internet for “dates” takes them back to his home, is investigated and he is referred for felony prosecution and another Detective in that same SVU department works to cover-up his indiscretion. Not every CPD officer is happy with how our department covers this up. What is good for CFD should be good for CPD.
Thank you for your article. Keep feeding the public the kool aid. Much more to come.
Sincerely,
Non Kool Aid Drinking Citizen
The coverup for CPD and the sanitizing of the CFD story is closer to trying to pass a turd off as a snickers bar.
Honest Badge

Orrville, OH

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#7
Jul 21, 2013
 

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We are not all like McConnell. Please dont put us in the same category. For all of his past and future victims, you can thank the CPD, Prosecutors and the tabloids as well for doing nothing.
Doubter

Columbus, OH

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#8
Jul 21, 2013
 

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Cover UP? You are not all like McConnell? When your superiors are McConnell and when those above him, who are above you, set the standards for law enforcement, you are all one and the same. Dirt. Scum.
Sadened

Dublin, OH

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#9
Jul 21, 2013
 

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Cover up their own crookedness and crimes. CPD! CPD!
LOL

Dublin, OH

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#10
Jul 23, 2013
 

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The following statement was released by Columbus Police Sgt. Rich Weiner:
"Officers are held to a higher standard when there are allegations like this, the Division takes this very seriously. The criminal investigation has to go forward, until then he will be relieved of duty. We have been in contact with federal officials and it is our understanding he is the only person within the Division being investigated at this time."
Except if you are a Supervisor like Terry McConnell working the Special Victims Unit and you admit to taking underage boys back to your home for "Dates" who you meet on a gay internet site. Oh, that is right, he said he didnt know how old they were. LOL
Keep that higher standard Weiner.

“Where did I put my tiara?”

Since: Dec 11

Columbus, OH

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#11
Jul 23, 2013
 

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Ben is a donkey
Doubter

Columbus, OH

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#12
Jul 23, 2013
 
Former DeSales choir director faces child-sex charges

By Kathy Lynn Gray
The Columbus Dispatch Tuesday July 23, 2013 6:47 AM

Investigators are combing through a cache of nude photos that police suspect were solicited by a former youth choir director who is facing child-sex charges.

Already, Zachary R. Ruppel, 26, a former St. Francis DeSales High School choir director and former Ohio State Fair choir staff member, is charged with soliciting nude pictures and sex acts from two boys in exchange for membership in the state fair choir.

But Sgt. Terry McConnell, of the Columbus police sexual-assault unit, said there are many more victims.

Investigators are trying to identify the boys in photos found on Ruppel’s cellphone and iPad, using school yearbooks and, when possible, school staff members to review cropped photos. Some victims, officials say, were DeSales students; some were choir members.

“This thing is huge,” McConnell said.“There’s tons of information to go through. It’s going to take a long time.”

Ruppel, of 4906 Lunar Dr., was a member of the state fair choir staff in 2011. He was choir director at DeSales from fall 2010 until the end of this school year, when he told the school he would not be returning. A spokesman for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Columbus said there were no disciplinary issues with Ruppel.

Ruppel is charged with two counts of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles, fifth-degree felonies, and one count of compelling prostitution, a felony of the third degree. Arrest complaints against Ruppel say that he asked a 15-year-old boy on April 28 to engage in oral sex for $100. On July 6, he sent a 17-year-old boy photographs of an erect penis.

McConnell said yesterday that complaints about Ruppel might have been made as far back as 2011, but police weren’t notified. Investigators are trying to determine whether “those responsible for reporting these offenses did so as required by law.”

The director of the fair choir, Charles R. Snyder, was put on leave on July 11 by fair manager Virgil Strickler because of the investigation.

Snyder’s attorney, Randy Peddicord of Coshocton, said on Friday that Snyder had reported information to fair officials shortly after he learned that choir members might have been victims. Peddicord said Snyder would not comment on the investigations.

Strickler said yesterday that Snyder and two other fair-choir staff members reported Ruppel’s suspected actions this month. Strickler said he immediately placed all three on unpaid leave and reported the information to Columbus police.

Police have cleared the other two staff members, and they have returned to work with the choir; Snyder hasn’t yet been cleared.

The state fair opens on Wednesday. The 200 members of the fair choir, who live at the fairgrounds during rehearsals and the 12-day fair, arrived last Thursday. An assistant has taken over as director while Snyder is on leave.

McConnell said he hopes other victims will reach out to police with information about Ruppel.

“We know that there are other instances of that with other people,” McConnell said.“We just need them to come forward.

SERIOUSLY? McConnell at DeSales? Isnt that an all boys school?

Since: Jun 13

Hilliard, OH

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#13
Jul 23, 2013
 
Doubter wrote:
Former DeSales choir director faces child-sex charges
By Kathy Lynn Gray
The Columbus Dispatch Tuesday July 23, 2013 6:47 AM
Investigators are combing through a cache of nude photos that police suspect were solicited by a former youth choir director who is facing child-sex charges.
Already, Zachary R. Ruppel, 26, a former St. Francis DeSales High School choir director and former Ohio State Fair choir staff member, is charged with soliciting nude pictures and sex acts from two boys in exchange for membership in the state fair choir.
But Sgt. Terry McConnell, of the Columbus police sexual-assault unit, said there are many more victims.
Investigators are trying to identify the boys in photos found on Ruppel’s cellphone and iPad, using school yearbooks and, when possible, school staff members to review cropped photos. Some victims, officials say, were DeSales students; some were choir members.
“This thing is huge,” McConnell said.“There’s tons of information to go through. It’s going to take a long time.”
Ruppel, of 4906 Lunar Dr., was a member of the state fair choir staff in 2011. He was choir director at DeSales from fall 2010 until the end of this school year, when he told the school he would not be returning. A spokesman for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Columbus said there were no disciplinary issues with Ruppel.
Ruppel is charged with two counts of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles, fifth-degree felonies, and one count of compelling prostitution, a felony of the third degree. Arrest complaints against Ruppel say that he asked a 15-year-old boy on April 28 to engage in oral sex for $100. On July 6, he sent a 17-year-old boy photographs of an erect penis.
McConnell said yesterday that complaints about Ruppel might have been made as far back as 2011, but police weren’t notified. Investigators are trying to determine whether “those responsible for reporting these offenses did so as required by law.”
The director of the fair choir, Charles R. Snyder, was put on leave on July 11 by fair manager Virgil Strickler because of the investigation.
Snyder’s attorney, Randy Peddicord of Coshocton, said on Friday that Snyder had reported information to fair officials shortly after he learned that choir members might have been victims. Peddicord said Snyder would not comment on the investigations.
Strickler said yesterday that Snyder and two other fair-choir staff members reported Ruppel’s suspected actions this month. Strickler said he immediately placed all three on unpaid leave and reported the information to Columbus police.
Police have cleared the other two staff members, and they have returned to work with the choir; Snyder hasn’t yet been cleared.
The state fair opens on Wednesday. The 200 members of the fair choir, who live at the fairgrounds during rehearsals and the 12-day fair, arrived last Thursday. An assistant has taken over as director while Snyder is on leave.
McConnell said he hopes other victims will reach out to police with information about Ruppel.
“We know that there are other instances of that with other people,” McConnell said.“We just need them to come forward.
SERIOUSLY? McConnell at DeSales? Isnt that an all boys school?
DeSales is coed, just like Watterson and Ready.
now now

Columbus, OH

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#14
Jul 23, 2013
 
LOL wrote:
The following statement was released by Columbus Police Sgt. Rich Weiner:
"My parents named me Richard. The kids in school called me Dick. When you see us in riot gear, I'm the one one with the purplish helmet."
He really said that?
Why

Dublin, OH

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#15
Jul 24, 2013
 
By Allison Manning
The Columbus DispatchWednesday July 24, 2013 7:24 AM


Comments: 0





Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs has decided that a narcotics lieutenant who falsified overtime slips should be fired.

She will make that recommendation to Public Safety Director Mitchell Brown, who will decide the discipline for Lt. Troy Casner, 46.

Casner had a hearing with Jacobs on Monday. She said Casner should be suspended for 240 hours, demoted to the rank of officer and terminated, according to Sgt. Rich Weiner, a Police Division spokesman.

Casner is accused of failing to be truthful by falsifying overtime slips nine times in August and September and failing to carry out orders or directives by not submitting his overtime slips to the narcotics commander.

An internal-affairs investigation also found Casner guilty of neglect or inattention to duty, for going home and running an errand during two narcotics operations; violating rules or division directives, for failing to direct detectives five times during operations; and submitting one unnecessary overtime slip.

Since the investigation began, an additional charge has been added: unbecoming conduct, for talking to officers and a sergeant about the internal-affairs probe between Oct. 11 and Nov. 9.

Casner, who received base pay of $95,000 last year, was hired by the city in 1989.

He has been on desk duty and without his gun and badge since Feb. 27. He will next have a hearing with Brown.

Weiner said that a suspension would affect any vacation payout Casner is owed.

The investigation began when a police sergeant wrote to Jacobs on Sept. 21 questioning three of Casner’s overtime slips.

Why fire this guy? Sgt. Terry McConnell can admit to meeting young underage boys on the internet and taking them back to his house for "dates" and he is still employed as a "law enforcement officer"? Oh yeah, he said he didnt know the childrens' ages.

“animis opibusque parati”

Since: Oct 12

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#16
Jul 24, 2013
 

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Why wrote:
...The investigation began when a police sergeant wrote to Jacobs on Sept. 21 questioning three of Casner’s overtime slips.

Why fire this guy? Sgt. Terry McConnell can admit to meeting young underage boys on the internet and taking them back to his house for "dates" and he is still employed as a "law enforcement officer"? Oh yeah, he said he didnt know the childrens' ages.
You were told a lie in kindergarten when the teacher indoctrinated you to believe that "police officers are our friends."

Of course, teachers are not our friends either.
Ugh

Dublin, OH

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#17
Jul 24, 2013
 
Kim Jacobs, Chief of Police. Did you know that McConnell admitted to a Reynoldsburg Detective that he was meeting young boys for "dates" on a gay internet site and taking them back to his home? Did you know that during interviews it was confirmed that McConnell was having anal sex with the underage boys in his hot tub? Did youreview the tapes from McConnell's interviews? Do you have any clue what your cops are doing? More to come.
HELP US

Spencer, OH

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#18
Jul 25, 2013
 
I see this clown McConnell on T.V. and can't help but laugh. What is posted here is true apparently. You can get the report from the Reynosldsburg P.D. Let me get this straight - One is supposed to call CPD to help report crimes against children but a Sergeant in the Special Victims Unit is soliciting underage boys on gay internet sites and taking them back to his home to play in the hot tub? When Reynoldsburg Detectives interviewed one of the victims he gave details about McConnell's house and admitted that he had anal sex performed on him by McConnell in the hot tub. When the detective interviewed McConnell, which by the way was recorded, McConnell admitted to meeting the uderage boys on the gay website for what he called "dates" but he claimed that he didnt know their ages. Chief Jacobs, you are stellar. Your department is stellar. Out of curiosity, why not start hiring registered sex offenders as Police Officers? They obviously qualify for Columbus P.D.!

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