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Former sheriff's sergeant pleads not guilty to rape charge

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    Lucas County Sheriff Deputy Sgt.Joseph Gorney before leaving the courtroom. He will be released on his own recognizance after being charged with rape.

    The Blade/Jetta Fraser
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    Gorney

After turning himself in at the sheriff’s office where he was employed and spending the night at the Lucas County jail, a former sergeant was arraigned Thursday in Lucas County Common Pleas Court on a charge of rape.

Joseph Gorney, 50, of the 2300 block of Lambert Drive pleaded not guilty before Lucas County Common Pleas Judge James Bates. The judge then allowed him to be released on a supervised recognizance bond despite a request by prosecutors for a $100,000 cash bond.

Dexter Phillips, an assistant county prosecutor, told the court the first-degree felony charge Mr. Gorney faces is serious and that his accuser lives in close proximity to him.

Defense attorney Lorin Zaner asked for a recognizance bond, saying Mr. Gorney had recently resigned from the sheriff’s office, had no criminal record, and had voluntarily turned himself in Wednesday after learning of his indictment.

Judge Bates agreed to the recognizance bond but ordered that Mr. Gorney have no contact with his accuser or live anywhere close to her.

“Mr. Gorney, if anyone needs to contact that person on your behalf, allow Mr. Zaner to do it,” Judge Bates said. “You can have no contact with that person.”

Mr. Gorney, who worked for the sheriff's office for 24 years, resigned June 22 citing “recent events.”

Among those, Mr. Gorney was being investigated for a June 2 incident in which he’s accused of using a stun gun three times on an intoxicated man who was in the back of his cruiser.

Mr. Gorney is accused of sexually assaulting a woman he knows while off-duty on the same day.

Judge Bates set a trial for Mr. Gorney for Oct. 16.

Contact Jennifer Feehan at: jfeehan@theblade.com or 419-213-2134.

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