Pulaski deputy indicted again for excessive force during arrests

bestep@herald-leader.comAugust 15, 2013 

Photo by Thinkstockphoto.com

A Pulaski County sheriff's deputy has been indicted on a third federal charge of using excessive force during arrests.

In each case, Steve Molen, 48, allegedly hit people after they had been handcuffed and were not resisting, according to court records.

A grand jury returned the new indictment against Molen Wednesday, charging that he assaulted a man who had led police on a chase from Pulaski County into Russell County on Aug. 24, 2008.

The indictment identified the victim only as C.F. A separate court motion said the victim was the mayor of a small town in Pulaski County.

The motion said C.F. was facing financial and personal pressures. He had slit his left wrist, but then he drove himself toward the hospital in Somerset.

When a Somerset officer tried to pull him over, the man drove off. Molen and other officers pursued C.F. to Russell County, where state police used a device to flatten his tires.

C.F. cooperated with police. After he had been handcuffed and was on the ground, Molen allegedly kicked C.F. hard in the groin, injuring him, court documents say.

A federal grand jury indicted Molen in June on charges of assaulting a tow-truck driver in October 2009 and another man in October 2011.

Molen has pleaded not guilty on the first two charges.

Prosecutors have said Molen used force against people more than 50 times between October 2005 and December 2012. They have asked a judge to admit evidence about some of those uncharged cases. The goal is to try to prove that Molen engaged in a pattern of willful assaults in retaliation for angering or disobeying him.

Molen's defense attorneys have argued that all the arrests were legitimate and that misconduct by people the deputy arrested prompted the use of force.

If convicted, Molen could face up to 10 years in prison on each count.

Bill Estep: (606) 678-4655. Twitter: @billestep1

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