Judge Sends Cincinnati Police Detective to Prison for False Arrest – Widespread Problem In Law Enforcement

juliane Steele cincinatti police sentanced false arrest

A judge sentenced a Cincinnati police detective to five years in prison Wednesday for abduction and intimidation in the arrest and detention of a teenager.

Julian Steele, who has since been fired from the police force, was only repeating what he saw others on the force do during his 14-year career, Steele’s attorney said before the sentence was imposed.

“No doubt about it. There was a mistake made here,” Steele’s attorney Lindsey Gutierrez told Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Dennis Helmick. “He saw other cops do it.”

Steele, 48, of Springfield Township, falsely arrested a teen in May 2009, interrogated him, held him against his will, got a false confession from him – all so Steele could get close to the teen’s mother for sex, according to court records.

Steele insisted he had evidence – “probable cause” in legal language – to arrest the teen because he’d seen the teen’s mother’s car in the area of several street robberies in Northside. Later, though, Steele admitted to suspicious prosecutors he knew the teen committed no crimes when he arrested him.

“I’ve talked to several police officers about this case and generally they laugh at the thought that that’s probable cause,” said Daniel “Woody” Breyer, the Clermont County special prosecutor assigned to handle Steele’s case

Breyer was brought in because it was Hamilton County prosecutors who uncovered Steele’s crimes.

Steele even threatened to file a grievance against Assistant Hamilton County Prosecutor Megan Shanahan after she insisted the teen be freed from juvenile jail and after Steele suggested he would lie to the grand jury to win an indictment, according to court records. Steele told prosecutors he would “work my mojo” before the grand jury.

“I would never do anything malicious to hurt anybody,” Steele told the judge Wednesday.

Not only did he hurt the innocent teen and his mother, Breyer countered, but he hurt law enforcement officials everywhere.

What he has done to the justice system almost is irrevocable,” Breyer said.

The mother testified she was so afraid for her son she would do anything to get him out of jail. She said Steele told her it was “a process” to get her son out and even after she performed oral sex on him, the detective didn’t get her son released.

“The things he said are appalling. If I was a (Hamilton County) prosecutor, I’d go back and check every case he was on,” Breyer said.

Steele’s actions needlessly damage police and prosecutors, Breyer said.

“It makes me angry,” Breyer said. “It makes everybody connected with law enforcement angry.”

The judge also placed Steele on probation for five years after he serves his five-year prison term.

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