Former Spencerville mayor denied bond reduction for pandering charge


LIMA — A reduction in bond for the former Spencerville mayor charged with pandering obscenity involving a minor was denied Friday.

Phillip Briggs, 45, is accused of recording two teenage girls in various stages of undress and was arrested on Jan. 30 for the second-degree felony. Bond was set at $200,000 cash or surety by Municipal Court Magistrate Richard Warren in February.

Detectives from the Allen County Sheriff’s Office arrested the former mayor after interviewing him and the two girls, and conducting search warrants at a home and on a laptop.

Briggs resigned as mayor on Feb. 3 at the request of the Spencerville village council. Council President Darrell Pugin took his place, officially sworn in on Feb. 6.

Briggs’ lawyer, Kenneth Rexford, said on Friday that the man has no criminal record and would comply with any no contact orders between him and the alleged victims. He said the bond is set too high for the current charge.

Assistant Allen County Prosecuting Attorney Josh Carp said according to Crime Victim Services, the teens have just started to feel safe at home again, and with Briggs planning to stay with his stepfather in Spencerville about a half mile away from the girls if he posts bond, they would inevitably run into one another.

Crime Victim Services court advocate Stephanie Evans said as minors, the teens cannot choose where they live, and they would feel unsafe knowing Briggs was out of jail.

Allen County Common Pleas Court Judge Jeffrey Reed said he will deny the reduction in bond for now, but it can be revisited after the grand jury hears the case and decides whether to bring charges.

The case has not yet been scheduled to go before the grand jury, but it should soon to comply with Briggs’ right to a speedy trial.

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