POMEROY — Nine alleged victims, plus three others witnesses, took to the stand this week in the trial against former corrections and probation officer Larry Tucker.
Tucker, 56, is charged in two separate indictments with 31 felony charges and one misdemeanor charge, mostly in connection with alleged inappropriate actions with women he supervised as a corrections or probation officer.
Each of the nine victims discussed the alleged acts committed by Tucker, as well as the time frames, locations and circumstances under which each occurred.
One of the witnesses on Friday afternoon testified about her interactions with Tucker during her time on probation.
The woman, who now lives out of the area, stated that while completing community services hours at the courthouse Tucker took her to go see the next area they were supposed to be painting.
Once they entered the courtroom, the woman alleged that Tucker put his hand up her shirt, touching her breast, and then put his hand down her pants. She stated that the phone rang in the probation office and Tucker went to answer it which ended the incident.
The first woman to take the stand on Friday was an inmate at the Middleport Jail for approximately six months during her case in another county.
She testified that Tucker was very nice to her, giving her snacks and “real coffee” when he was the corrections officer. She said he was one of the nicer ones.
She also testified that there were flirtatious actions and comments exchanged between the two. He would also allegedly caress her hand through the tray slot in the cell door.
During her time at the jail, she said Tucker would let her and sometimes another woman out of the cell to fold laundry.
One time while out of the cell folding laundry, she explained that it went further.
The woman stated that when she went to hand the laundry to Tucker in the supply room he took her hand and led her in to the room. She testified that they kissed and that he put his hand in her pants and touched her in a sexual manner.
She testified that there were no other incidents during her time at the jail, but that before she was released he gave her his business card. She stated that he told her to call when she got out and they would have dinner.
Two of the females who were probationers of Tucker testified that he would tell them to let him know when their husbands/boyfriends and children were not home so that he could stop by.
Additionally, one probationer stated that when Tucker came to her house he offered her “$50 for an hour or $25 for 15 minutes.” She declined.
Several of the women testified that while they did not reject Tucker or the acts he attempted or completed with them, they were afraid of what may happen if they did not go along. They stated that he had power over them as a probation officer or corrections officer.
Other witnesses included the mother of one of the women, the boyfriend of one of the other victims, and two former Middleport Jail inmates who were not victims 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 Monday with the prosecution calling its next witness.
Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.