Update: After sentencing, Billiel
says case politically motivated
Jeffrey Billiel, the former editor of the Sidney Daily News, was sentenced Wednesday morning for public indecency in a case that ended a 40-year career with the newspaper.
was one of nine men arrested last year in connection with a two-month investigation by the Shelby County Sheriff's Office
into illegal sexual activity at the Lockington Reserve.
alleges the case was politically motivated.
"Photographs taken at the scene of the alleged crime show nobody committing an illegal act.
But based on supposition and an intense desire to smear the 40-year editor of the local newspaper that had reported much negative news about the sheriff's department, including scandals on (Shelby County Sheriff John) Lenhart's watch, a manipulative plan was concocted," Billiel
said, in part, in the prepared statement.
Lenhart declined to comment about Billiel
's allegations, other than to say the justice system had run its course and Billiel "had an opportunity in court" to present his
Billiel, 69, of Sidney, was fined $150 plus costs and sentenced to 10 days in jail by Judge Duane Goettemoeller in Sidney Municipal Court for public indecency, a third-degree misdemeanor.
The judge suspended five days on the condition that Billiel
violates no laws of the state or rules of probation for one year and stays away from the Lockington Reserve.
had pleaded no contest to the charge.
Goettemoeller placed Billiel
on probation for one year or until all obligations with the court have been satisfied, whichever occurs first.
As long as Billiel
is in compliance with probation requirements, the five days in jail will begin in six months, and may be reconsidered if the fine and costs are paid in full.
Wiesenmayer said Billiel
had contributed "a lot to the community" during his years at the Sidney Daily News
"There's not much I can add to that," Billiel
said the other party in the alleged crime, James A. Schamp, 83, of Dayton, has a prior conviction in Montgomery County.
"So, a man with more than 40 years of service to Sidney and Shelby County
, and who had received two speeding tickets in 69 years of life, was dragged out of his
office in handcuffs in front of his
staff, driven around until Channel 7 could arrive at the jail to photograph him being booked, and was the subject of a special press conference at which Lenhart did everything but convict him outright," Billiel
said in his
"The sheriff was not about to leave anything to chance regarding Schamp's plea deal.
solicited and gained the consent of City Prosecutor Jeff Amick, thereby heading off any possibility that the charge against me might be reduced or dismissed," Billiel
Amick said information provided by an informant was not important in convicting Billiel
"We were very confident in the outcome of the case," he
said all the defendants in the Lockington Reserve public indecency cases admitted to the charges and were found guilty.