Federal prosecutors are readying what appears to be an extensive case against a local sheriff’s deputy accused of violating victims’ civil rights by using excessive force.
“There will be more than just the ordinary amount of discovery you may anticipate with a case such as this,” said prosecutor Patrick Molloy, with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Kentucky, on Thursday during an arraignment.
Pulaski County Sheriff’s Deputy Steve Molen was indicted late last month on two counts of violating the civil rights of two victims in incidents from October 2009 and October 2011. The two victims, identified only as D.W. and G.C. in court documents, are local tow truck company owner Danny Whitaker and Pulaski County resident Gordon Cowan.
The indictments state that Molen “willfully deprived (the victims) of the right, secured and protected by the Constitution of the United States, to be secure in his person against unreasonable seizures, which includes the right to be free from the use of unreasonable force by a person acting under color of law.”
During Thursday’s hearing in U.S. District Court in London, Molen, appearing with his attorney, Patrick Nash, of Lexington, pleaded not guilty to both charges.
Molen appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Hanly A. Ingram, who stated that U.S. Eastern District Judge Danny C. Reeves intends to try the case by Sept. 9, 2013 — leaving a narrow window for evidence discovery and motions to be filed in the case.
“It may be a tight schedule,” said Molloy.
Molloy stated that the U.S. intends to bring a number of things to light in the case, including several videos, eyewitness testimony and grand jury testimony by “agents involved in the events.”
Molloy also said the U.S. plans to introduce something called 404(b) evidence, which may point to other similar alleged acts carried out by Molen in cases unrelated to the two the indictments stem from.