Courts Dismiss Sex Assault Charges Against AF Doc

DAYTON -- A civil suit alleging sexual assault by a high-ranking Wright-Patterson Air Force Base doctor against a child was dismissed Monday in Montgomery County Juvenile Court.

Lt. Col. Val Finnell said he was relieved that Judge Anthony Capizzi threw out the case which involved allegations of sexual assault against an 11-year-old girl brought by Montgomery County Children Services through the Montgomery County Prosecutor's Office. Finnell said the allegations were made up because the child suffers from a mental disorder. He had been ordered to stay away from his home since May.

"It's been torture," Finnell said. "I've been separated from my family for eight months."

Dayton police Dept. still have computer equipment seized during an August raid of Finnell's rented home in the Oregon district. On Nov. 14, Finnell's wife Tracy filed a civil lawsuit in Dayton Municipal Court for the return of the computers. The police department's attorneys have 28 days to respond to the complaint.

Capizzi said he heard five or six days of testimony during the past couple months before hearing closing arguments Monday morning. By 11 a.m. Monday, Capizzi had decided: "I issued a decision finding that the agency was not able to prove by clear and convincing evidence that Lt. Col. Finnell or his wife were civilly responsible and the child was not proven to be abused or dependent (neglected)."

Finnell said when the criminal case is finished, he hopes to get his pending promotion to full colonel.

"We've always thought that (such allegations) should be taken seriously and that there should be a complete investigation," Finnell said. "But it was mishandled and delayed unnecessarily several times on the prosecutor's side. It could have been resolved a lot quicker than it was. There's a lot of issues with how competently the investigation was run, I would say."

Lt. Wendy Stiver of the Dayton police did not immediately return messages seeking comment.

Finnell, a 17-year military veteran, proclaimed his innocence during an August press conference at the office of his attorney. The Montgomery County Prosecutor's Office said Finnell has not been arrested or charged with a crime in connection with the gross sexual imposition complaint involving an 11-year-old child filed April 22.

"My wife Tracy and I are very saddened by the events that transpired on Aug. 8 and the heavy-handedness of the Dayton police department," Finnell said in August. "I denied the allegations and immediately sought to clear my name through taking a computerized voice stress analysis that was reviewed by two police officers that were examiners. The result of that test showed that I am telling the truth... . I have nothing to hide."

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