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Published: Wednesday, 3/16/2005

Ex-police sergeant faces charges in stalking case

TIFFIN - A former Fostoria police sergeant is being held without bond on six felony charges, most of them related to allegations that he stalked and threatened his estranged wife in 2003.

Judge Steve Shuff of Seneca County Common Pleas Court accepted a request on Monday by a special prosecutor to deny bond for former Sgt. Nick Portentoso, who resigned from the Fostoria police department in April, 2003.

Mr. Portentoso was indicted last week on two counts of disrupting public services and one count of menacing by stalking, all fourth-degree felonies. He was also indicted on single counts of felonious assault, a second-degree felony; intimidation, a third-degree felony; and possession of cocaine, a fifth-degree felony.

If convicted of the most serious charge, felonious assault, he could face a prison term of two to eight years, plus a mandatory three-year, consecutive sentence for use of a firearm. Mr. Portentoso is to be arraigned March 31 before Judge Shuff.

John W. Allen, a special prosecutor from Mansfield, Ohio, appointed to handle the case, said he asked that Mr. Portentoso be held without bond "because we felt he was a danger to the victim and the community."

The indictment alleges that Mr. Portentoso threatened his then-wife, Kathleen Portentoso, with a 45-caliber semiautomatic handgun on Feb. 7, 2003, at her home in Loudon Township near Fostoria. He is also charged with damaging a telephone and a cell phone belonging to Mrs. Portentoso.

Mr. Portentoso was arrested and charged with aggravated menacing after that incident. He was arrested again on April 8, 2003, and charged with violating a civil protection order that prohibited him from having contact with Mrs. Portentoso, who had filed for divorce.

The indictment alleges that he trespassed on Mrs. Portentoso's property between Feb. 7 and April 21, 2003, and that he possessed 0.22 grams of crack cocaine when arrested April 8. He resigned a short time later from the Fostoria police department, where he had worked for 20 years.

Mr. Allen said the subsequent investigation took nearly two years because authorities wanted to be thorough and fair. "If we had done it quick, they would have said it was a rush to judgment," he said.

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