Ohio sheriff charged with releasing confidential abuse reports

BRYAN, Ohio — A county sheriff in Ohio has been accused of posting confidential child abuse reports to the department’s website and Facebook page.

A special prosecutor on Thursday filed misdemeanor charges against Williams County Sheriff Steve Towns.

A criminal complaint says that last October the sheriff posted information that included confidential reports about suspected child abuse. The complaint says at least one child victim was identified.

Towns said Thursday that he had been frustrated with the handling of child abuse investigations in the county so he posted the documents to let the public know what was happening.

He thought the reports had been redacted properly and says they were pulled down when questions were raised.

Special prosecutor Mark Weaver says the law requires the reports to be confidential to shield the victims.

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