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Former Police Officer Pleads Guilty to Brutalizing Suspects

March 26, 1991

CLEVELAND (AP) _ A former police officer serving a 4 1/2 year prison term on drug charges pleaded guilty Monday to mistreating suspects.

Robert Carras, 41, of suburban Newburgh Heights originally pleaded innocent to five federal charges of kicking, hitting and pulling the hair of suspects.

Carras pleaded guilty to the charges before U.S. District Court Judge Thomas D. Lambros, who sentenced him to a 51-month term concurrent with his drug sentence.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Clarence Taylor said Carras changed his plea in exchange for the concurrent term.

The former police officer was charged with brutalizing suspects in four separate incidents.

Carras pleaded guilty to striking Eric Kotonski of Newburgh Heights with a flashlight during a drunken driving arrest in December 1990; kicking John Rogers of Cleveland as Rogers lay handcuffed after a February 1989 abduction and harassment arrest; pulling Larry Villanueva’s hair during questioning about a February 1989 break-in; and striking Donal Geib across the face during the same interrogation.

He also pleaded guilty to handcuffing a Cleveland taxi driver, James Stipetich, to a hot radiator after a confrontation.

Carras was convicted in December 1990 of 76 counts of aggravated drug trafficking and 76 counts of illegal processing of drug documents. Carras was convicted of forging prescriptions for Percocet, an addictive painkiller.

Carras was fired in January.

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