by Kyle Swenson
Update II: A jury Thursday found public defender Catherine Loya guilty on a misdemeanor charge of having physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.
But that's not what the fun part of this case was. You remember, right? Oldfield was caught in the back of a car with Judge Joy Malek Oldfield engaging in some backseat lovin'. A cop discovered them, and his report became the basis for a salacious little scandal.
Well, Patrolman Thomas Ballinger testified during the one-day trial, and he went into salacious detail, which is all the jury needed. (And probably wanted.)
Judge Joy Malek Oldfield was in the back seat of a small SUV parked outside a Ridgewood Road strip mall at 1:45 a.m.
Ballinger said that as he walked closer to the vehicle, the women moved with haste.
“I looked in the car and [Oldfield], the person I observed with her legs bent and laying with her back against the back seat, pulled her pants up from mid thigh and pulled down her blouse,” Ballinger told jurors.
He determined the car occupants were “parkers,” a phrase police use for people who stop to park and talk or make out, he said. He then maneuvered his car and turned his spotlight on the vehicle and saw a head-popping motion, the judge fixing her clothes and both women moving to the front.
A "head-popping motion"? Details, Ballinger. More details. — Grzegorek
Update: Copley police have released a report on the arresting officer's account of the night he arrested a public defender on DUI charges after he found her and an Akron judge inebriated and in a "state of undress" in the backseat of a car.
Judge Joy Malek Oldfield's lawyer had contended the officer's report was fabricated and "politically motivated." Oldfield denied anything hinky was going on. The Copley report suggests otherwise.
Police Chief Michael Mier's report concludes the arresting officer detailed the incident accurately, and from his arrival on scene, made mention of the sexual nature of what he was seeing. Mier even released text messages sent between officers in Copley as corroborating evidence. They are as hilarious as you would guess.
As other officers were responding, Ballinger texted “LMAO,” a common text abbreviation for “laughing my [expletive] off.”— Grzegorek
“I just didn’t want you to fly down here,” he added. “2 females. … Not nice what I saw.”
Other officers then joined in the messaging. One wrote: “ohhhhhh eww” and “im sure those folks were just ‘talking.’ ”
“geeze, that’s disgusting,” another officer messaged. “I don’t even want to know … I thought somethin was up, [Ballinger] sounded odd lol.’’
“Yup, he usually doesn’t mess around on the radio. I figured it would be weirdness.”
A second officer, Patrolman Darrel Garner, arrived minutes later. His report stated that Ballinger said the women were “involved in a sexual encounter.”
Down in Akron, a story is heating up over what might or might not have gone on one evening in early February when a newly appointed city judge was found by police inside the car of a lawyer assigned to her chambers.
The Akron Beacon Journal has a good, detailed rundown of situation. All that's been firmly nailed down so far is that Public Defender Catherine Loya was charged with a drinking-and-driving related offense. But a Copley police report says when the driver's car was approached by police in the early hours of February 5, Loya and Judge Joy Malek Oldfield were “in a state of undress in the back seat,” to quote the paper's diplomatic account. Oldfield straight-up denies there was any inappropriate relations.
Oldfield just took the bench in January. The paper reports Loya represented indigent defendants in the courtroom. By all accounts, the two were at an event, after which Oldfield asked for a ride home.
According to a report, an officer found Loya and Oldfield in a parked car stopped in a strip mall about 1:45 a.m. The officer said as he approached the Toyota, he “observed a female’s head raise up from the back seat and look out the back window.”
He then saw “two female subjects placing their clothing items on and then exit the back seat and move to the front seats.’’ The officer said he smelled alcohol coming from the car when he talked to the women.
Oldfield, 36, identified herself as a judge and said it was she who had been drinking. Loya, however, was charged with having physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.
The married judge didn't talk for the Beacon Journal story, but her attorney John Hill did. The police report is incorrect, he says. “Any suggestion, gossip, about an extramarital affair, not only with this woman, but with anyone, is completely false,” he told the paper.
Copley's police chief, however, says the report accurately reflects the situation. He also adds that the officer initially tried to keep Oldfield's name out of the paperwork because she wasn't cited. Important fact here: it looks like the 30-year-old Loya didn't blow or give a blood sample, so there's no smoking- gun BAC. She did lose her driving privileges, and pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Oldfield continues to sit on the bench, and until she resigned this week, Loya was still working cases in the courtroom. The judge even gave the license-less attorney rides to work, according to the paper.