Thursday, December 17, 2009

Deputy Richard Zych - Benzie SD





Former Benzie Deputy Sentenced
Date: December 14, 2010
By Eric VanDussen
http://ipr.interlochen.org/ipr-news-features/episode/11358






A former Benzie County court officer has been sentenced to a year in jail.

Richard Zych pleaded guilty last month to one count of aggravated assault, under a plea deal. He was originally charged with three counts of fourth degree criminal sexual conduct.

District Judge John Foresman admonished Zych and handed down the maximum one-year sentence allowed under the plea agreement.

"You used your position as deputy sheriff to put her in a position which made her vulnerable. And that kind of conduct cannot be tolerated," Foresman told Zych in court Monday.

The prosecutor alleged that Zych used force and coercion while sexually assaulting a female victim on at least three occasions in 2009, manipulating his position over her.

Zych had worked in the Benzie County Sheriff's Department since 1997. The department terminated earlier this year.










Former deputy pleads guilty to aggravated assault
Posted: 11.29.2010 at 3:27 PM
Up North Live
http://www.upnorthlive.com/news/story.aspx?id=547396




A former Benzie County Corrections Deputy, accused of sexually assaulting a woman, pleaded guilty to Aggravated Assault Monday.


BEULAH -- A former Benzie County Corrections Deputy, accused of sexually assaulting a woman, pleaded guilty to Aggravated Assault Monday.

Rick Zych was accused of groping a woman three times after he pulled her over in a Sheriff's vehicle earlier this year.

As a part of the plea bargain Zych had to admit to at least one count of Criminal Sexual Conduct fourth degree.

Zych faces up to one year in jail when he is sentenced on December 20.











Deputy Accused of Pulling Woman Over, Groping Her
Posted: 06.24.2010 at 11:40 PM
Up North Live
http://www.upnorthlive.com/news/story.aspx?id=474777

BENZIE CO. -- An update on the Benzie County Corrections Deputy accused of sexually assaulting a woman.

On Friday a judge ordered Deputy Rick Zych to stand trial, after that the sheriff fired him.

The sheriff says Zych violated the department's code of conduct.

A woman claims Zych sexually assaulted her three times last year. She says he pulled her over with a sheriff's vehicle and forcefull groped her.

Zych's preliminary examination continues this week.











Deputy Charged With Sexual Assault
Posted: 04.22.2010 at 12:13 PM
Up North Live
http://www.upnorthlive.com/news/story.aspx?id=447140




Deputy Rick Zych was in court Thursday, officially charged with two counts of fourth degree criminal sexual conduct.


A Benzie County Deputy is charged with two counts of sexual assault.

Deputy Rick Zych was in court Thursday, officially charged with two counts of fourth degree criminal sexual conduct.

The Sheriff says the incident was brought to the attention of law enforcement in December of 2009. The case was referred to the Michigan State Police for investigation.

“You must be fair and impartial and be sure a good investigation is done. That is why we handed it over to State Police. It would not have been proper for us to investigate our own person,” said Benzie County Sheriff Rory Heckman.

Zych was placed on administrative leave without pay or benefits effective last week. He was released on a $50,000/PR bond.

Zych will be back in court for a preliminary exam within fourteen days. If found guilty the misdemeanor charges could be punishable for 2 years and/or $500.00 fine.














Benzie deputy suspended amid CSC charges
Court bailiff accused of sexually assaulting woman

By ALEX PIAZZA
The Record Eagle
Fri Apr 16, 2010, 07:55 AM EDT

BEULAH -- Benzie Sheriff Rory Heckman suspended one of his deputies without pay after police said he twice sexually assaulted a woman.

Authorities this week charged Richard "Rick" Lee Zych, 52, of Honor, with two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct. The high-court misdemeanor charge is punishable by up to two years in prison and/or $500.

He "engaged in non-consensual sexual contact" with a woman "by using force and coercion" on two occasions last year, court records show. The woman was an acquaintance, but they weren't in a relationship, Heckman said.

Zych, a court bailiff who's worked for the department since 1997, was suspended on Wednesday without pay or benefits. His arraignment is scheduled for April 22 in 85th District Court.

A union representing Zych filed a grievance on Thursday, contending the sheriff's department wrongfully suspended him without pay.

"He obviously hasn't been afforded his due process rights to defend himself," said Pat Spidell, a Police Officers Association of Michigan representative.
Heckman said he'll respond to the grievance soon.

The sheriff's department in December suspended Zych with pay pending a Michigan State Police investigation. Zych was required to call the department twice a day while on paid suspension, but because Heckman on Wednesday stripped him of his pay and benefits, he no longer has to check in. He did not return a call for comment.

Zych is the most recent Benzie County sheriff's deputy charged with sexual assault.

The sheriff's department two years ago fired Craig Baker, a corrections sergeant, after allegations surfaced that he sexually assaulted a girl, then 14, in 2005. A judge dismissed the case because the alleged victim said she lied about the incident, but Heckman refused to reinstate Baker.

At least two other Benzie officers this decade were convicted on sexual assault charges.

Heckman said the department must continue to conduct thorough background checks to ensure similar incidents don't occur. The sheriff's department requires its deputies, both for corrections and road patrol, to undergo a psychological examination before they're hired.

"Those weren't always done in the past," Heckman said. "It's a necessary piece of the puzzle. The more eyes you have looking at it, it's going to help you."











Deputy Charged With Sexual Assault
Posted: 04.15.2010 at 11:19 AM
http://www.upnorthlive.com/news/story.aspx?id=444224




BENZIE COUNTY -- A Benzie County Deputy is charged with two counts of sexual assault.

Deputy Rick Zych was arrested Wednesday on the fourth degree criminal sexual assault charges. The Sheriff says the incident was brought to the attention of law enforcement in December of 2009. The case was referred to the Michigan State Police for investigation.

“You must be fair and impartial and be sure a good investigation is done. That is why we handed it over to State Police. It would not have been proper for us to investigate our own person,” said Benzie County Sheriff Rory Heckman.

Zych was placed on administrative leave without pay or benefits effective Wednesday afternoon. He was released on a $50,000/PR bond.

Zych will be back in court for arraignment on the charges April 22. If found guilty the misdemeanor charges could be punishable for 2 years and/or $500.00 fine.













Bailiff investigated for off-duty assault
FROM STAFF REPORTS
The Record Eagle
Thu Dec 17, 2009, 07:22 AM EST
http://record-eagle.com/benzie/x546327681/Bailiff-investigated-for-off-duty-assault

BEULAH -- A Benzie County sheriff's deputy is suspended with pay pending the outcome of a criminal investigation.

Rick Zych, who serves as a court bailiff, was suspended Monday pending a Michigan State Police investigation. Benzie Sheriff Rory Heckman said the investigation involves an alleged off-duty assault of an acquaintance.

Zych, 52, has worked for the department since 1997.




Michigan Officer Involved Domestic Violence

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