Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Report Exonerates a Venice Sergeant

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Report Exonerates a Venice Sergeant

Article excerpt

COMPLAINT: Officer was accused of asking robbery victim to expose himself

VENICE -- A Venice Police Department sergeant who was disciplined last year for making sexually inappropriate remarks to fellow officers has been exonerated following an internal investigation.

A complaint against Sgt. Ronald Perisho was filed by the department's detective supervisor on July 2. Under Perisho's instruction, the report claimed, a robbery victim pulled down his pants and underwear -- exposing his genitals and buttocks in the process -- during a video-recorded interview at the police department in March of 2013.

But an internal investigation determined that Perisho had not directed the interviewee to expose himself. Instead, he had only asked to see a cut the man claimed to be bleeding from, without knowing the man would pull down his clothing.

"The discussion between Sgt. Perisho and (the man) is related to the bleeding and an attempt to discover the source," the department's findings stated. "The direction and dialogue with (the man) was professional."

According to the investigation's findings, the man had both his hands behind his back when Perisho entered the interview room at about 2:40 a.m.

"What are you putting down the back of your pants?" the sergeant asked.

The interviewee, who claimed to have been robbed at knifepoint about an hour earlier, told Perisho that he had been cut and showed the officer a bloody tissue he was holding.

"Show me," Perisho responded, inquiring about the location of the cut.

The interviewee stood up, pulled down his pants and underwear, and spread his buttocks for examination.

The complaint against Perisho alleged he made no attempt to stop the interviewee from exposing himself.

"... furthermore Sgt. Perisho said 'I can't see!' and directed him to turn away," the complaint stated. "Sgt. Perisho visually examined \ from behind and in front. …

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