Details outlined in case against prosecutor
From staff reports
Further details in the criminal case against Washington County Prosecutor Kevin Rings were filed in Washington County Common Pleas Court Thursday.
Those details were outlined in Special Washington County Prosecutor Matthew Donahue’s Bill of Particulars, which in most cases is simply referred to as the police reports and affidavits of facts but in Rings’ case of sexual imposition and coercion is outlined in an eight-page document.
Donahue is an assistant prosecutor with the Ohio Attorney General’s office.
Rings faces two misdemeanor offenses, after Amy Davis, 32, of Belpre, accused Rings of improper conduct in July last year while she was both a defendant in a case and a witness in another.
She said Rings exhibited inappropriate behavior toward her in his office and in an exchange of text messages. Davis was the victim in a kidnapping case and was also convicted on drug charges in 2017.
The first charge against Rings, coercion, is listed as a second-degree charge, which is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $750 fine. The second, sexual imposition, is a third-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.
The bill of particulars was filed upon request of Ring’s defense counsel, Dennis McNamara.
The state surmises that “the defendant knew what he was doing was unethical and illegal. He attempted to cover his tracks,” following a description of how Rings got in contact privately with Davis in the first place.
The state alleges that before Davis’s drug case was closed and she was sentenced Rings contacted her attorney late in the evening to purportedly discuss the kidnapping case.
“The defendant would later claim to investigators that he only contacted (Davis) after her criminal case was over,” reads the bill. “This is false; (Davis) had not been sentenced and her criminal case was not completed.”
The bill goes on to claim that Rings, when interviewed by investigators, “at first attempted to minimize the text messages, but upon becoming aware that investigators had the messages stated, ‘You know, when I sit back and look at it, I should have never said that.'”
The bill explains that Rings initiated contact with Davis with a text reading “Hey there pretty lady send me something.”
“In all,” Donahue writes. “Over several hundred text messages were exchanged from June 30 to July 6, 2017. Many were sexual in nature.”
One text noted reads, “On Friday, you said you were a MILF (which stands for mom I’d like to engage with sexually). Is that true? Are you?”
The bill further states Davis only continued the sexual texts and flirting as an “attempt to prevent herself from going to jail or prison.”
But texts allegedly written by Rings are not all that are included in the document.
A description of Davis’s claim of molestation is also included in the bill of particulars, citing video footage from outside Rings’ office showing a change in the physical appearance of Davis before and after she was in Rings’ office on July 6 of last year.
“(Davis’s) white shirt was totally unbuttoned exposing what appeared to be a dark shirt underneath. (Her) hair also appears to be askew,” reads the bill. “When (she) reached her ride outside the courthouse, the driver recalls seeing her makeup smeared on the inside of her collar and that she was upset due to having been ‘molested at the prosecutor’s office.'”
The bill details claims of inappropriate touching and kissing described by Davis to investigators.
The bill also explains that common practice when speaking with a victim in any case handled by the prosecutor’s office would be to have a victim advocate present at all times.
Rings will next appear in court before Visiting Judge Patricia A. Cosgrove on Aug. 29 at 11 a.m.