Swick free on bond before court appearance

August 29, 2012


PDT Staff Writer

Portsmouth Municipal Court officials say the man charged with kidnapping in the reported attempted sexual assault of a woman Saturday night, has bonded out.

A court employee said she did not know the amount of the bond, but that Jeff Swick, 24, of West Portsmouth appeared in Municipal Court Wednesday morning, posted a surety bond, and is set to appear again at 10 a.m. on Sept. 6 in the courtroom of Judge Russell Kegley. Police had reported Tuesday that bond had been set at $20,000, which usually means the person charged must post bond of $2,000, ten percent of the total amount.

Portsmouth Police met with a woman Tuesday who gave them information about the man she said attacked her while she was jogging in the vicinity of Greenlawn Cemetery. Based on that information, police turned their attention to Swick, and he was arrested as he left his work place Tuesday afternoon.

“Detective Andy Dawes and I went there and asked him if he would follow us down her to the Police Department,” Detective Sgt. James Charles said. “He agreed. He drove himself down here to the Police Department. We interviewed him and he subsequently confessed to the crime he is charged with (kidnapping).”

The safety of women who walk or jog in public has become an important topic in the community since the event occurred, and one of the people most closely associated with the services available to victims is Patty Pettigrew, director of the Southern Ohio Sexual Assault Treatment Center, who says women need to be aware of the services and programs in place to assist them.

“There are services that a free through the Attorney General’s Office,” Pettigrew said. “With the Southern Ohio Sexual Assault Treatment Center, and the Domestic Violence Shelter, housed together here on Grant Street (Portsmouth), it would be very beneficial for everyone involved to be aware of that.”

“It is extremely important that any woman who is the victim of an assault report that assault,” Pettigrew said. “That way everyone else can be also made aware that there could be a possible potential problem in the area. Therefore, once she reports, she can also be told of the different community services that are out there that could also help her.”

Pettigrew said the center has always made it a point to educate women as to the dangers of not being aware of their surroundings at all times. She said women needing help as the result of an assault can contact the Southern Ohio Sexual Assault Treatment Center at 740-355-3528, or the Domestic Violence Shelter at 740-456-8217.

Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 232, or at flewis@heartlandpublications.com