Indiana Police Officer Sentenced to 2 Years in Prison in Highland Rape Case

CROWN POINT. Indiana — A former Lake County sheriff’s police officer was sentenced Thursday to two years in Lake County Community Corrections for his guilty plea earlier this year to battery resulting in serious bodily injury.

Jon O. Breitweiser, 41, of Highland, will serve an additional three years probation following his release from the community corrections program.

The plea was entered in June as part of an agreement with prosecutors, who in exchange dismissed charges of rape, criminal confinement, strangulation and misdemeanor domestic battery.

The sentence was imposed by Judge Samuel L. Cappas.

Breitweiser was accused of raping a woman Nov. 6, 2015, at his home in the 9100 block of O’Day Drive, according to a probable cause affidavit. The woman told police Breitweiser punched her in the face and beat her with a stun gun during the sexual assault, the affidavit states.

The woman fled the home partially nude and was treated at an area hospital.

Breitweiser registered a 0.30 blood-alcohol content on a breath test when he was arrested, the affidavit states.

Breitweiser was a law enforcement officer for 10 years before he left the Lake County Sheriff’s Department in August 2014.

The defendant’s attorneys, Paul Stracci and Michael Woods, said Friday Breitweiser was a decorated policeman who left the department after struggling with alcoholism and debilitating mental health problems, including post-traumatic stress disorder and bipolar disorder.

Breitweiser has been receiving treatment for those issues, the defense attorneys said.

“Nothing will change the injury to the victim, or the guilt and remorse Jon continues to carry with him, but hopefully this case will draw attention to the need for better mental health support for our law enforcement officers,” Stracci said in a statement.

Woods said evidence in the case showed that Breitweiser “paid a terrible price” for his service to the community, which was reflected in the judge’s sentence.