GREENVILLE - Darke County Auxiliary Sheriff officer Bryan Wombolt, 27, was arrested Thursday after a Greenville Police Department investigation indicated he engaged in sexual acts with a local high school student.
The investigation began on Wednesday after the sheriff’s office was notified of Wombolt’s involvement in a domestic dispute in Bradford, resulting in his arrest for unlawful restraint.
As a result of allegations of an inappropriate relationship with a minor, the Greenville Police Department was immediately contacted and requested to conduct an investigation, while the Darke County Sheriff’s Office simultaneously began their own internal investigation into Wombolt and his personal conduct.
During the course of the investigation officers learned that the Wombolt had allegedly engaged in inappropriate relations with an underage female high school student.
“Mr. Wombolt was in a position of public trust. I hold my officers to a high standard rightfully so, and so should the citizens of Darke County. There is nobody more disgusted by this incident than my officers and myself,” said Darke County Sheriff Toby Spencer. “I am going to do everything in my power to see that Mr. Wombolt is prosecuted to the full extent.”
He was then taken into custody at the Darke County Sheriff’s Office while finalizing his termination from the Auxiliary, with Greenville Police present to carry out the arrest.
According to the disciplinary report from the Darke County Sheriff’s Office completed on Thursday, Wombolt was terminated due to his legal violations, a misuse of his position for personal gain, and for his conduct that brought discredit to the Sheriff’s Office.
Later on Thursday afternoon, the Darke County Sheriff’s Office held a press conference detailing Wombolt’s arrest while answering questions of his past involvement with the law enforcement agency.
“I want to be completely transparent with this investigation,” said Sheriff Spencer. “We have nothing to hide. We just want to get it out there in front of everyone.”
Wombolt is currently incarcerated at the Preble County Jail awaiting an initial appearance on four third degree felony counts of Sexual Battery. Initially, Wombolt was placed in the Darke County Jail, but was quickly transferred due to his local ties.
“The most important reason, in my mind, that I wanted him away from here was more for the protection of the victim in this case. I did not want him socializing with anybody here locally…,” said Sheriff Spencer. “I’d rather get him away from this area and protect the victim as much as we possibly could.”
Bryan Wombolt was appointed as an Auxiliary Deputy on the Darke County Sheriff’s Patrol in September of 2012. His prior background test showed no prior sexual offenses. Before joining the Darke County Auxiliary, Wombolt was employed as a military police officer in the United States Army.
The Darke County Sheriff’s Patrol is a volunteer unit which assists the full-time staff by serving in athletic events, school security and local patrols, while carrying all the arrest powers as a full time Darke County Sheriff’s officer.
“They know our policies and procedures and are a very integral part of the Darke County Sheriff’s Office. We couldn’t survive without them. There’s not a one of them that I don’t trust, but one of them has violated that trust. And we will have to do everything we possibly to re-earn the public’s trust because of this one incident,” said Sheriff Spencer.
While the week’s events took the Darke County Sheriff’s Office by surprise, the administration wished to remind the public that Wombolt was far from representative of the law enforcement agency.
“I want to offer my deepest regrets to the citizens of Darke County and more importantly the victim and the victim’s family,” said Sheriff Spencer. “I know its damaged our reputation and probably other law enforcement officers in the county and I want to say that we will do everything within our means to rehabilitate (our reputation).”