Ex-prosecutor pleads to child endangerment

Published 10:14 am Tuesday, August 18, 2009

An eastern end attorney and former Lawrence County Prosecutor pleaded guilty late last week to three misdemeanor child endangerment charges stemming from abuse allegations involving a 15-year-old boy.

J. Stewart Kaiser, 72, of 13725 State Route 7, Proctorville, pleaded guilty on a bill of information Friday in front of visiting judge Alan C. Travis, who sentenced Kaiser to three concurrent six-month jail sentences that were subsequently suspended.

Kaiser, who has an office in Chesapeake, was then placed on three years probation and ordered to have no contact with the child unless in a public place or with a natural parent.

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In a bill of information, the defendant waives his or her right to have the case heard by a grand jury and later by a common pleas court jury and pleads to the charges. This bypasses many steps in the criminal justice process and proceeds to the final step of guilt-and-punishment.

In February, the victim told authorities Kaiser had touched him inappropriately numerous times over a period of years, according to a report from the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office. Kaiser told investigators that all contact was inadvertent, the report said.

The case was initially investigated by the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office as gross sexual imposition and, because Kaiser’s previous association with the Lawrence County Prosecutor’s Office, was turned over to the Scioto County Prosecutor’s Office. Scioto County later amended the charges to child endangerment.

Assistant Scioto County Prosecutor Pat Apel, who was appointed special prosecutor in this case, was contacted for comment on the story. He did not return telephone calls.

Kaiser, contacted Monday at his Chesapeake law office, declined to comment on the case but said he did intend to continue practicing law.

Persons convicted of or who plead guilty to misdemeanor charges are not automatically precluded from practicing law.

Kaiser served as Lawrence County Prosecutor from 1989-1992.