Charles Ramsey, the Cleveland man-turned-Internet sensation who's been called a hero for his role in helping to free three women held captive for years, has now been assigned a new description: "Repeat domestic abuser."
The Smoking Gun is reporting that he served prison time for battering his wife on more than one occasion:
Ramsey's first domestic violence charge came in February 1997. He entered a no contest plea a year later and was found guilty of the count by a Cleveland Municipal Court judge. While waiting to be sentenced, Ramsey was again arrested for domestic violence.
At the time of Ramsey's second collar, in July 1998, he was already the subject of an arrest warrant issued in connection with his failure to appear for a court hearing in the first domestic violence case. As a result, Ramsey was jailed for violating terms of his release on bond. Ramsey subsequently entered a no contest plea to the second case and was, again, found guilty by a Cleveland judge.
The domestic violence cases apparently were consolidated for sentencing in August 1998, when Ramsey was ordered to serve six months in jail, placed on five years probation, and directed to attend a domestic violence counseling program.
Following his release from custody, Ramsey violated probation terms, according to an April 1999 court docket entry. While an arrest warrant was issued for Ramsey, it is unclear from court records whether it was executed before both misdemeanor cases were formally closed several years later.
Given this report, it's ironic that when Ramsey heard Amanda Berry screaming and trying to escape from neighbor Ariel Castro's home on Monday, he told reporters, "I figured it's a domestic violence dispute."
Read more at the Smoking Gun.