Sandusky County’s prosecutor convicted of negligent assault, to resign by June 30

FREMONT — Sandusky County’s prosecuting attorney was convicted of negligent assault Friday afternoon.

Timothy F. Braun, 60, waived indictment and proceeded with a bill of information charging him with negligent assault, a third-degree misdemeanor, during a hearing at Sandusky County’s courthouse.

Appointed Judge Janet Burnside sentenced Braun to 60 days in Sandusky County Jail, with the incarceration suspended.

Burnside also sentenced Braun to one year of supervision on community control, ordered him to pay a $500 fine and prohibited him from having any contact with any of the victims.

“Everyone gets sentenced in their own skin. … That which punishes one person is not punishment to someone else,” Burnside said.

Braun agreed to resign as the prosecuting attorney by June 30. He also agreed not to seek re-election or election as the county’s prosecuting attorney.

He may only be at the office one day every 90 days, and notice is to be given to the victims prior to his appearance there. Also, he is to conduct county business remotely.

Katie Nelson, special prosecuting attorney, said Braun had been elected and charged with protecting the very law he broke. The hostile work environment started about the time he took office in January 2017, if not before, she said.

It started with back rubs and shoulder rubs, and nothing happened, Nelson said.

“The women were uncomfortable,” she said.

Braun didn’t stop, Nelson said.

“Defendant crossed the line,” she said.

Nelson said an employee of Sandusky County Prosecutor’s Office resigned in April. The office’s personnel files went missing and mysteriously reappeared in Braun’s office, and Braun orchestrated an internal investigation, she said.

Nelson said the women are victim advocates for the prosecutor’s office, have an important job and now are on the other side of the situation.

She said in her mind, Braun thought he was untouchable and was not going to get caught.

“These women are tough as nails,” she said.

One of the victims spoke during Friday’s hearing.

“Not one other person is at fault here,” she said.

The victim said Braun kept pushing and instigating, and he had been asked repeatedly by the office administrator to stop doing what he was doing.

The victim said Braun wanted the women of the office to be nothing but submissive, and she called him a “sick man” and “control freak.”

The victim said that when Braun realized he was losing control of the women, his main target was forced to resign. He threatened women with prison time, she said.

“He couldn’t handle not being in control,” she said.

Braun did not make a statement.

In October, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost had called for Braun’s immediate resignation.

“Mr. Braun should resign immediately. No victim of sexual assault, no victim of workplace harassment, could believe she would be treated fairly in an office he oversees,” he said in a release.

People stood outside of Sandusky County’s courthouse Friday holding signs that stated it is easier to believe a woman is crazy than the government is corrupt, that they believed the victims and that sexual assault needed to be prosecuted, not covered up.