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Former Ohio officers get probation for assault

By Ed Meyer   
Beacon Journal staff writer

Two former Hudson police officers were given probation Tuesday after pleading guilty to assault charges.

Kenneth R. Ciesla and Robert Walker kicked and punched a Wellington man after a June James Taylor concert at Blossom Music Center after a picnic basket brushed against their vehicle.

The victim Christopher Sawyer questioned the sentence Summit County Common Pleas Judge James E. Murphy handed down.

``I do believe that if it was a regular person out there who did what (one of the officers) did, he might be spending a few days in the county jail at least.''

Mary Ann Kovach, chief of the Summit County prosecutor's criminal division, said Sawyer had suffered severe facial injuries, involving fractures to the eye socket, nose and mouth.

One of the serious blows was delivered by Ciesla, 40, a former Hudson police sergeant.

Ciesla had pleaded guilty to the most serious charge, felonious assault, and could have been given up to eight years in prison.

Walker, who had risen to lieutenant, had pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor assault charges for punching the victim and pushing down his girlfriend.

Both officers have resigned from the police department.

Murphy gave Ciesla three years' probation in lieu of a two-year prison sentence and 90 days in a community corrections facility and ordered him to pay the victim $32,650 for uninsured and future medical expenses.

The judge gave Walker three years' probation in lieu of 100 days in the county jail for each of the misdemeanor charges.

Kovach said Walker and the victim also had reached a settlement before sentencing in which Walker will pay about $60,000.

 Akron Beacon Journal (http://www.ohio.com/)

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