Former sheriff sentenced for lying in prostitution case

Former sheriff sentenced for lying in prostitution case
Published: Apr. 13, 2015 at 6:32 PM EDT|Updated: May. 28, 2015 at 7:02 PM EDT
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. - NEW ALBANY, IN (WAVE) - Former Clark County Sheriff Danny Rodden was sentenced Monday to two years of probation and a $4,000 fine on two federal charges of making false statements to the FBI.

Rodden was arrested last year, after a prostitute became a government confidential informant and told the FBI that the sheriff had given her a badge and uniform to get a discount at a Louisville hotel, and had paid her for oral sex.

[PREVIOUS STORY: Federal indictment returned against Clark County, IN sheriff]

In court, Rodden told the Judge Tanya Walton Pratt, "I apologize for my crime and I apologize for the weakness of character that brings me here." Rodden added that he had embarrassed his wife, son, daughter and law enforcement.

In announcing her sentence Pratt said, "Mr. Rodden's actions have helped to tarnish the reputation of law enforcement everywhere."

[PREVIOUS STORY: Former Clark County Sheriff Rodden likely to avoid prison time]

Pratt said she considered the 165 letters written by supporters of Rodden, including one from the Indianapolis Archdiocese, as well as all the good he's done in the community. Rodden's attorneys say since his arrest he's voluntarily completed more than 400 hours of community service as a way of making up for his crimes.

"Danny has stood with me through my personal struggles and my professional struggles and I'm proud to stand with him today," said Larry Wilder, Rodden's attorney, who has known the former sheriff for almost 50 years.

Both Wilder and Rodden were emotional in addressing the court prior to sentencing. Rodden could be seen wiping away tears at the defense table as the government addressed the court on the recommended sentence.

The federal government was forced to throw out charges that Rodden ordered the prostitute to destroy evidence when he called her and told her to "get rid of it." A U.S. Supreme Court decision in Yates v. the United States said that the destruction of evidence law only applied to tangible evidence used to record or preserve information relating to a crime. Therefore, the government was forced to drop the more serious charges Rodden originally faced.

In court, Assistant U.S. Attorney Brad Blackington said, "I don't have a good faith argument to ask for him to go to prison anymore."

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