Ex-Deputy Pleads Guilty In Food Tampering Case

Prosecutors said that deputies Joseph Cantwell and Phillip Barnett enlisted an inmate to touch a sandwich with his genitalia before they fed the sandwich to another unsuspecting inmate, 10TV News reported.

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September 9, 2009

Ex-Deputy Pleads Guilty In Food Tampering Case

JosephCantwell.jpg

Joseph Cantwell

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A former sheriff's deputy pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges stemming from a food tampering case at the Franklin County Jail.

Prosecutors said that deputies Joseph Cantwell and Phillip Barnett enlisted an inmate to touch a sandwich with his genitalia before they fed the sandwich to another unsuspecting inmate, 10TV News reported.

The incident occurred in February.

Cantwell pleaded guilty to two counts of health code violations. He was fined $500 and must pay court costs.

His 90-day jail sentence was suspended and he was given five years probation.

Franklin County Sheriff Jim Karnes fired both men earlier this year.

Cantwell's attorney told a judge that the incident was a prank, and that the deputies meant no harm.

In court, Cantwell offered an apology to his former department, the sheriff and everyone linked to the case.

Both inmates involved in the case filed lawsuits against Franklin County.

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