By Wayne Gates –
Dale Anderson has been indicted on additional felony charges.
The former chief probation officer for the Brown County Municipal Court now faces two counts of Tampering With Evidence, which are both third degree felonies. He was also indicted on a third degree Sexual Battery charge, which is the same charge that he was indicted on in February.
The three charges were filed on Sept. 7 by a Brown County Grand Jury. Anderson was arraigned on the new charges on Sept. 13 and pleaded not guilty.
Following the indictment, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, through Special Prosecutor Joel King asked that the original case from February against Anderson be dropped in favor of the new charges. Visiting Common Pleas Judge Brent Spencer from Adams County granted the request.
Anderson was originally set to go to trial on the Sexual Battery charge next week. He will now be tried on all three charges beginning Nov. 27.
The Tampering With Records charges are based on allegations in a court document previously filed in the Anderson case by the state.
The document states “That the Defendant (Anderson) falsified the probation records of (the victim) by fabricating the completion of her community service hours in two separate probation cases. The Defendant falsified the probation records to benefit his friend, Thomas R. Sawyers, who was sexually assaulting (the victim). Thomas R. Sawyers is under indictment for the very same sexual assaults against (the victim).”
The filing continues, “In this case, the Defendant is charged with sexual battery, in that he engaged in sexual conduct with a probationer, and subsequently fabricated or wrote off her and her husband’s community service credit. The circumstances are analogous in that the Defendant created a quid pro quo relationship, wherein he, as a probation officer, exchanged falsified community service credit for sexual acts on a probationer. The Defendant falsified (the victims) probation records in 2008 and then again in 2010 to assist his friend, Thomas R. Sawyers, to commit the same crime, by the same means around the time the Defendant was committing his sexual battery…In both cases, the Defendant acted with the same plan, preparation and modus operandi, in creating a quid pro quo relationship and exchanged falsified community service credit for sexual acts on a probationer.”
In response the new charges against his client, Anderson attorney William Rapp said, “The witch hunt obviously continues. Mr. Anderson is very disappointed with the late filing of additional charges as it necessarily pushes back his opportunity to have case heard in open court, which we look forward to.”
Rapp also expressed concern that the state seems determined to link Anderson to the alleged activity of Sawyers, who is facing multiple felony counts of Trafficking in Persons-Commercial Sex Acts, Rape and drug charges.
“I can’t speak for their reasoning, but it does seem to be the case where whenever the prosecutors office speaks in regards to the Sawyers case, Dale Anderson’s name is mentioned. It’s my belief that any connection between these two as it relates to the witch hunt is feckless at best.”
Spencer ordered Anderson not to have any contact with Sawyers between now and his trial, which Rapp objected to during the hearing.
He told Spencer in court, “We do object to the adding of Mr. Sawyers’ name (as a prohibited contact). As a practical matter, Mr. Anderson is not in contact with Mr. Sawyers…I would understand if this man was listed as a witness or if he was identified as a victim. I don’t see him listed as co-defendant, I don’t see him charged with similar offenses.”
Anderson was suspended without pay by Brown County Municipal Judge Joe Worley on December 21, 2016 when Worley became aware of the investigation into Anderson’s alleged conduct. Anderson had been working as a probation officer for the court since January of 2007.