Not guilty verdict was ignored by media

Posted 15 October 2014 at 12:00 am


It seems that the news media is prompt to report stories with a heading that reads: ‘Inmate Charged with Assault on Corrections Officer.’ Yet, there was no news coverage to be seen last week for the jury trail of Jeremy J. Rothmund, 31, at the Orleans County Courthouse.

Rothmund, a former inmate at Orleans County Jail, pled not guilty to the charge of Second Degree Assault of Janet Koehler, a corrections officer at Orleans County Jail (10/16/13). If found guilty, Rothmund faced up to an additional seven years in state prison to the 15-year sentence he is currently serving for robbing the Bank of America in Albion on July 2013. It should be noted that Rothmund turned down a plea offer.

I’m disappointed that this trial received no attention, for indeed, the courtroom pews were empty.

Maybe this case just wasn’t exciting enough to report. Just another cut and dry case of a criminal acting like a criminal and Correction Officers performing their noble duties. After all, that’s how District Attorney Joseph V. Cardone summed it up.

However, after hearing the two and a half days of testimony of seven witnesses for the prosecution and only Rothmund in his own defense, the jury returned a verdict of “Not Guilty.”

“How so?” you may ask. Not so cut and dry, after all, it would seem.

I won’t elaborate on every detail, at this time, but I hope to be given the opportunity in the near future.

You see, this is not some isolated case involving only Jeremy Rothmund. I dare say it’s more widespread than we prefer to believe. It concerns the bitter truth that not everyone who wears the uniform of a police officer or corrections officer is worthy of the honor and respect that should be synonymous with such an important position of responsibility and power.

Aggressive arrogance is not honorable, nor is it respectable. Passing the general requirements to hold and perform such important duties is never a guarantee that an individual possesses the capability of dignified discretion. It’s a simple truth that deserves scrutiny.

I wish to thank Attorney Jon Ross Wilson for his diligent defense and pursuit of the truth, on Jeremy’s behalf. I have my doubts that the Orleans County Public Defenders’ Office would have approached this case as seriously.

Profuse and profound thanks must be given to the honest and open-minded ladies and gentlemen of the jury. You have revived my trust and faith in the judicial system. It can work when allowed to.

I also commend Judge James P. Punch for conducting a fair and just trial. That always helps.

Try to remember, friends, that a responsibility to the truth and a dedication to justice will bring satisfaction from both. Just a thought.


H.J. Rothmund
Mr. Rothmund is the father of Jeremy Rothmund.