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Suit may include sheriff's department

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GREENFIELD — A former girlfriend of ex-Deputy Scott Roeger has threatened to sue the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department, which she says conspired to cover up alleged violent acts by the deputy before he resigned in January.

Jennifer Wilson-Trattner is asking for $700,000 in damages for “physical pain and injury, mental anguish and suffering,” according to a tort-claim notice that names the department as well as Roeger and the county. A notice of tort claim is a legal document filed in advance of a lawsuit.

Roeger was arrested in October after he entered Wilson-Trattner’s McCordsville home in the middle of the night and became enraged when he found another man there. He threatened the man and began breaking Wilson-Trattner’s property, according to police reports.

Following that incident, a criminal investigation was launched into Roeger’s history, and prosecutors went on to charge him for several past complaints alleging violence against women. Wilson-Trattner is involved in at least three of the five pending criminal cases against Roeger.

Now, Wilson-Trattner is alleging that Roeger and other members of the sheriff’s department, who are not named, conspired to cover Roeger’s “physical violence … and other illegal conduct.”  

Details of Roeger’s alleged illegal conduct are not included in the tort claim. Curtis Johnson of Shelbyville, who is representing Wilson-Trattner, did not return a call for comment.

Roeger is currently charged in five pending criminal cases involving three different victims. His charges are as follows: felony charges of strangulation; domestic battery; official misconduct; and residential entry; and misdemeanor charges of battery; intimidation (two counts); criminal mischief; and invasion of privacy.

Shortly after Roeger was arrested in October, his superiors took steps to terminate the officer, though the process was stalled by a department policy stating an internal investigation and criminal investigation cannot occur at the same time. Roeger was on paid suspension for more than three months after his arrest until he resigned in lieu of being fired.

Roeger and his attorney, Jim McNew of Greenfield, did not respond to a request for comment.

Scott Lage of Bloomington, who is representing the sheriff’s department, also did not return a call for comment.

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