Commonwealth Journal

Local News

August 31, 2013

Molen pleads not guilty in Western District

Somerset — A Pulaski County Deputy has pleaded not guilty to a federal civil rights charge brought down in U.S. Court in the Western District of Kentucky.

Deputy Steven Molen, 48, appeared for an arraignment Wednesday morning in Bowling Green before Magistrate Judge James D. Moyer and pleaded not guilty to one count of depriving a victim of civil rights while carrying out his duties as a deputy.

The federal indictment, handed down earlier this month, states that “On or about August 24, 2008, in Russell County in the Western District of Kentucky, the defendant, Steven Molen, while acting under color of law as a Deputy Sheriff with the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office, willfully deprived C.F. of the right, secured and protected by the Constitution and the laws 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.

“Specifically, the defendant assaulted C.F., resulting in bodily injury to C.F.,” added the indictment.

The Western District indictment joins two others that were handed down in U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Kentucky in June. It was during Molen’s initial arraignment in the Eastern District in July when federal prosecutor Patrick Molloy hinted at an expected third indictment, to be handed down in a separate case that occurred “just over the line in Russell County.”

The Aug. 24, 2008 date mentioned in the Western District of Kentucky indictment coincides with an incident that occurred involving former Burnside mayor Charles “Chuck” Fourman. Fourman was arrested in the early morning hours of Aug. 24, 2008 after he led city and county police on a high-speed chase that began in the city limits and ended in Russell County after around 30 minutes.

Fourman is the alleged victim identified as C.F. in the Western District federal indictment.

Testimony given by Fourman during a 2011 hearing revealed that Molen had allegedly used excessive force against the former mayor during the arrest.

Fourman took the stand during the 2011 hearing as requested by local tow truck company owner Danny Whitaker’s then-attorney, Scott Foster. Whitaker accused Molen of using excessive force against him, and Foster attempted to establish a pattern of similar behavior on Molen’s part during the 2011 hearing in hopes of fighting Whitaker’s criminal charges stemming from the incident.

In the Eastern District case, Molen was indicted on two counts of violating the civil rights of Whitaker and fellow Pulaski County resident Gordon Cowan.

Molen has pleaded not guilty to the Eastern District charges.

Molen is awaiting a December 17, 2013 trial in the Eastern District of Kentucky based on Whitaker and Cowan’s cases.

Molen is being represented by attorneys Patrick F. Nash, Brandon W. Marshall, and Joe A. Jarrell in both the Eastern and Western cases.

Marshall on Friday confirmed that Molen had appeared in court Wednesday, and he stated Molen was released on a personal recognizance bond.

A conference via phone is scheduled for Sept. 25 in the Western District of Kentucky case, according to court documents accessed electronically by the Commonwealth Journal.

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