Jury hears testimony in Tucker case


By Sarah Hawley - shawley@aimmediamidwest.com



POMEROY — The jury in the case against former corrections and probation officer Larry Tucker heard from multiple witnesses on Wednesday and Thursday, including several of the alleged victims in the case.

After hearing from one witness on Tuesday, jurors heard from four witnesses on Wednesday — three of them alleged victims. The fourth witness was the boyfriend of one of the female victims. As court recessed for the evening on Wednesday, one of the victims was testifying. Following direct questioning by Special Prosecutor Angela Canepa, court recessed for the day.

On Thursday, the woman returned to the stand for cross examination by Defense Attorney Kirk McVay, as well as follow-up questions from Canepa.

Three other women also testified on Thursday, two who were alleged victims in the case. Another was a former Middleport Jail inmate and was said to have been aware of the alleged criminal acts.

Each of the women described the alleged acts committed by Tucker while they were either inmates at the Middleport Jail or being supervised by Tucker while on probation.

According to the court docket, a waiver of jury was filed in the case on Tuesday regarding several of the specifications as part of the indicted charges against Tucker.

By signing the waiver, Tucker waived his right to trial by jury with regard to the “Sexually Violent Predatory Specifications” contained in the indictment, rather having the judge in the case make the decision regarding the specifications.

The jury of nine women and three men, plus two alternates, will decide guilty or innocent on a total of 32 charges in the case.

Tucker, who was corrections officer at the Middleport Jail and a probation officer and bailiff for Meigs County Common Pleas Court, was initially indicted by a Meigs County Grand Jury on May 3, 2018.

Charges in the initial indictment include: six counts of Sexual Battery, third-degree felonies; six counts of Kidnapping, first-degree felonies; five counts of Gross Sexual Imposition, fourth-degree felonies; five counts of Attempted Sexual Battery, fourth-degree felonies; four counts of Attempted Compelling Prostitution, fourth-degree felonies; one count of Theft in Office, a fifth-degree felony; one count of Soliciting, a third-degree misdemeanor.

A second indictment followed on Jan. 9, 2019. The second indictment was for two counts of kidnapping, first-degree felonies, along with fourth-degree felony charges of gross sexual imposition and attempted sexual battery.

As previously reported, Tucker is accused of sexually assaulting or attempting to sexually assault 12 different inmates and/or probationers while working as a corrections officer at the Middleport Jail and as a Meigs County Common Pleas Court probation officer. The incidents are alleged to have occurred between January 2011 and November 2017.

Each sexual battery charge and kidnapping charge carries a sexual violent predator specification. The six kidnapping charges also carry specifications alleging that the crimes were committed with sexual motivation.

The trial is scheduled to resume at 9 a.m. on Friday with the prosecution calling its next witness.

By Sarah Hawley

shawley@aimmediamidwest.com

Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.

Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.