LIMA — A former officer with the Lima Police Department entered pleas of guilty Friday to five felony charges in two separate and distinctly different cases.
Christopher Lemke, 34, appeared in Allen County Common Pleas Court and accepted a deal from prosecutors that called for him to plead guilty to three fifth-degree felony counts of the unauthorized use of law enforcement automated database system.
In exchange for that plea, Special Prosecutor Todd Schroeder said the state would dismiss nine identical counts contained in the indictment.
In a separate case, Lemke pleaded guilty to disrupting public services, a fourth-degree felony, and obstructing official business, a felony of the fifth degree.
Lemke was fired from the Lima Police Department in May of last year after being indicted by an Allen County grand jury on 12 counts of the unauthorized use of the LPD’s LEADS system.
According to the indictment the veteran police officer “did knowingly gain access to, attempt to gain access to, cause access to be granted to or disseminate information gained from access of the law enforcement automated database system … without the consent of the chair of the law enforcement automated data system steering committee.”
The incidents took place in September of 2019.
In November of last year, Lemke appeared in court on new charges and entered not guilty pleas to counts of abduction, a third-degree felony with a firearm specification attached, and a fourth-degree felony count of disrupting public services.
Those charges were the result of an Aug. 17 incident during which police say Lemke fired his gun into the air and restrained his estranged wife and their children from leaving their property.
As part of the deal struck with prosecutors, Lemke on Friday entered guilty pleas to a Bill of Information charging him with disrupting public services and obstructing official business. The state dismissed the charges contained in the original indictment.
The fourth-degree felony count carries a maximum possible prison term of 18 months. The fifth-degree felonies have a maximum penalty of 12 months in prison.
Judge Jeffrey Reed ordered a pre-sentence investigation prior to a July 12 sentencing date for Lemke. The judge said that while a prison sentence is possible under the law, it is highly unlikely in this case.