GOSHEN — Goshen Police Officer Joshua A. Owens was charged Monday, Feb. 22, with one count of strangulation and one count of domestic battery in the presence of a child less than 16 years.
The charges were a result of an investigation that began in November 2020 by the Indiana State Police.
The investigation was presented to Special Prosecutor Bruce Embrey, former prosecutor for Miami County, who filed the charges in Elkhart Superior Court 1.
Goshen Chief of Police Jose Miller has requested the Goshen legal department begin the process to request the board of public works and safety to place Owens on unpaid suspension pending the outcome of his criminal case.
Owens was hired full-time by the Goshen Police Department on Dec. 17, 2007. He has not had any prior discipline that resulted in suspension or demotion.
Goshen Mayor Jeremy Stutsman issued the following statement:
“Officer Owens was immediately placed on administrative leave and removed from active duty after notification (November 2020) that a criminal investigation was being conducted. Due to the duration of the investigation, Goshen Police Administration summoned Officer Owens back to work on Feb. 8, in an official non-police capacity. Rather than returning to work Officer Owens chose to use his personal time. Now that the investigation is complete and charges are pending, Chief Miller has requested the city move forward on the suspension of Officer Owens without pay.
“Due to state law, the board of works will move to begin the process of suspending Officer Owens without pay this Monday, March 1. In order to finalize the process of suspension without pay, the government body needs to give Officer Owens a 14-day public notice of a hearing.
If the officer is not convicted, there will be an internal investigation, Stutsman said.