Lake County Investigation ‘Ongoing,’ Prosecutors Say
Sexual battery charges have been dropped against Chester Police Officer and former West Geauga Schools Resource Officer Nicholas Iacampo, who appeared before visiting Judge Mark Wiest in Chardon Municipal Court Aug. 18.
Sexual battery charges have been dropped against Chester Township police officer and former West Geauga Schools School Resource Officer Nicholas Iacampo, who appeared before visiting Judge Mark Wiest in Chardon Municipal Court Aug. 18.
“This (dismissal) is based on a supreme court case, State v. Mole, from 2016 that ruled that the specific (Ohio) Revised Code section that the defendant was charged under, in particular, the (A)(13) subsection, was ruled to be facially unconstitutional,” said Wiest, who retired last year from the Wayne County Court of Common Pleas. “Therefore, there’s a motion to dismiss.”
Although he did ask to amend a minor typographical error in the state’s filing, Lake County Assistant Prosecutor Adam Downing told Wiest the motion to dismiss speaks for itself.
“I do inform the court that this is still an ongoing and active investigation, so charges may still come,” he added.
Iacampo’s case was taken by the office of Lake County Prosecutor Charles Coulson to avoid any conflicts or potential conflicts of interest in Geauga County’s court system, as Iacampo is the son of Chardon Municipal Court Judge Terri Stupica.
When reached by phone after the hearing, Coulson said investigators are still working the case. Regarding the 2016 Mole ruling, he said the decision by the state supreme court cannot be challenged unless it involves a constitutional issue, in which case the U.S. Supreme Court would be involved.
Iacampo was arrested the evening of Aug. 6, after the Geauga County Sheriff’s Office received a 9-1-1 call from the father of a 16-year-old girl regarding serious allegations against a Chester Township police officer. He was arraigned Aug. 7 in Chardon Municipal Court on a third-degree felony charge of sexual battery against the 16-year-old.
An investigation conducted by a Lake County sheriff’s detective found Iacampo engaged in sexual conduct with a minor who at the time of the incident was 16 years of age. The conduct allegedly took place in the parking lot of the Church of the Blessed Hope on Wilson Mills Road in Chester Township, according to law enforcement sources.
“Furthermore, the accused admitted to the offense while speaking with detectives,” the detective stated in a complaint filed with the court.
The complaint against Iacampo cites a violation of Ohio Revised Code section 2907.03, which states, in part, that no person shall engage in sexual conduct with another if “the other person is a minor, the offender is a peace officer and the offender is more than two years older than the other person.”
The (A)(13) subsection in that law was ruled an unconstitutional violation of the equal protection clauses of the Ohio and U.S. constitutions by the Ohio Supreme Court in 2016.
Writing for the majority, then Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor noted other provisions of the sexual battery statute, such as those that apply to a teacher, a cleric or a mental health provider, require an occupational relationship with the minor, while the peace officer provision applies even when there is no occupation-based relationship between the peace officer and the victim.
“We are investigating all of the facts, and once we get all of the facts, we will make a determination as to whether or not other charges will be filed,” Coulson said.
Iacampo and his defense attorney, Ian Friedman, declined to comment after the hearing.