Hamilton Co. deputy indicted for assault on inmate; video of incident released

Hamilton Co. deputy indicted for assaulting inmate
Updated: Jul. 2, 2020 at 2:07 PM EDT
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WARNING: Some viewers may find the video disturbing.

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - A Hamilton County sheriff’s deputy was indicted for the assault on an inmate at the Hamilton County Justice Center, Prosecutor Joe Deters announced.

Sgt. Jesse Franklin, who has been with the department for 14 years, is charged with one count of assault.

Franklin faces up to 6 months in the Justice Center if he is convicted.
Franklin faces up to 6 months in the Justice Center if he is convicted.(WXIX)

Deters said on June 9, Nick Ballachino was arrested for disorderly conduct while intoxicated and obstructing official business and transported to the Justice Center.

When deputies and Ballachino arrived, he became combative with the officers trying to process him. While the officers were trying to subdue him, Ballachino bit Franklin’s left foot, according to Deters.

Deters said video from the Justice Center shows Franklin immediately kicking Ballachino one time in the head after he bit him.

Ballachino was taken to University Hospital where he was treated and released back to the Justice Center.

“Not everyone has the temperament to be a police officer. In this case, and as I have throughout my career, when I see criminal violations, I will pursue them according to the law,” Deters said. Maintaining a professional, 21st century police force is expensive to society, but pays for itself many times over. Actions like this are a harsh reminder that resources must be dedicated to recruiting the right kind of officers and ensuring that they have the proper equipment, knowledge, training and temperament to do the job that citizens want and expect.”

As soon as Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Neil found out about the incident, the sheriff said he suspended Franklin’s police powers and ordered an investigation.

Sheriff Jim Neil said he is “outraged” by Franklin’s actions.

“As Sheriff of Hamilton County, I am outraged and shocked by this egregious conduct,” Sheriff Neil said on Thursday. “These actions are inconsistent with our training and will not be tolerated under my watch.”

Franklin is currently in jail, according to Sheriff Neil.

If convicted, Sgt. Franklin faces up to 6 months in the Justice Center.

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