Case against deputy starts

The trial of a former Wood County Sheriff’s Deputy accused of abduction and sex charges involving a
female inmate got underway Wednesday in Wood County Court of Common Pleas.
The case of Dusty Garwood, 51, Bradner, was heard by Judge Dale Crawford of Franklin County, who was
appointed by the Ohio Supreme Court to preside. Wood County Judge Robert Pollex, who originally presided
over the matter, recused himself from the case this summer.
Garwood officially waived a jury trial Wednesday morning. That resulted in a court trial, in which
Crawford himself will hear and decide the case without a jury.
The trial began after the previous dismissal of a rape charge against Garwood, the result of a motion by
the prosecution. A previously-dismissed sexual battery count was reinstated by Crawford before the trial
Garwood now stands accused of two counts each of sexual imposition and sexual battery, and one count of
abduction in the case. Garwood was accused of sexual contact, including intercourse, with a female
inmate, now 29, who was at first incarcerated in the Wood County jail, and then on electronic home
monitoring at the time due to an ongoing drunk driving case. The incidents allegedly occurred between
April and late June, 2013.
Prosecuting the case was Wood County Prosecutor Paul Dobson, with assistance from Tom Matuszak. During
opening statements, Matuszak said that Garwood’s contact with the alleged victim intensified during her
stay at the Wood County jail prior to her release on EHM; Garwood took her to areas where he knew there
would be little observation and, "despite her protestations," engaged in physical contact with
After her release on EHM, said Matuszak, Garwood visited her at her residence and engaged in sexual
conduct and, once, in intercourse, with her. Garwood also reportedly attempted to provide her money,
help her find a job, and other actions.
Garwood, Matuszak said, "took advantage" of the victim’s situation.
Garwood’s attorney, Scott Coon, said in his opening that Garwood’s actions breached professional ethics,
but that, at issue, was "whether or not he violated the laws of the State of Ohio."
Coon said that there was touching in the jail, but it was consensual; the conduct did not rise to the
level of sexual battery, he said. He also said the alleged victim initiated 433 of the more than 900
contacts – including texts and phone calls – between the two. Garwood, he said, met the victim’s
parents, and helped her move items from Toledo to Bowling Green. She further used him as a job
reference. Coon argued that, when she was ultimately sentenced to prison in Judge Kelsey’s court, she
attempted to throw Garwood "under the bus" in an attempt to avoid prison.
"You will hear no evidence of any force, you will hear no evidence of any threat," said Coon.
He also said that it was not Garwood, but the alleged victim’s EHM officer, who had supervisory
authority over her.
During lengthy, graphic, and at times emotional testimony, the alleged victim detailed a relationship
with Garwood that began at the jail as one similar to that between co-workers, she said, but escalated
to unwanted touching in the jail prior to her release on EHM.
"I was just stunned. I was scared," she said of one of the incidents. "This person that I
trusted, I didn’t know what to do."
She also said that Garwood visited her at her home multiple times after her release on EHM, and they
engaged in unwanted sexual contact, including one instance of intercourse.
She told no one about the incidents, she said, because she was frightened and feared reprisal.
During cross examination of the alleged victim, Coon focused on the continuous contact between the two,
as well as the fact that, despite stating she was afraid of Garwood, she allowed him to take her to
Toledo when others were available to do so, to enter her home on multiple occasions, called and texted
daily and did not refuse his advances.
Noting one interrupted sexual encounter between the two in her home, Coon noted that Garwood was the one
who stopped the contact.
Under redirect from Dobson about why she did not speak out, she said "The whole time I was afraid I
was just going to prison. … People know people. A simple ‘did you hear (she) was drinking?’ Make a
phone call. Anything."
The trial is set to continue today.