Cleveland FF fired after pleading guilty in case where he was accused of raping sleeping woman
"Your conduct was unbecoming of an employee of public service and a failure of good behavior,” Peter Yachanin's termination letter read
CLEVELAND, Ohio — The city announced late Tuesday that it fired a Cleveland firefighter who pleaded guilty in March to assault and unlawful restraint charges after a woman accused him of raping her while she slept in his home.
Safety Director Karrie Howard fired 36-year-old Peter Yachanin on Monday, one week after a judge let him out of jail after he served two months of a six-month sentence.
Cleveland police arrested Yachanin in November 2019 on a warrant charging him with rape, according to court records. Detectives wrote in court filings that a 22-year-old woman was asleep in his home and woke up to Yachanin raping her. He spent two days in jail before posting a $50,000 bond. A county grand jury in January 2020 handed up an indictment charging Yachanin with two counts each of rape and kidnapping, and one count of unlawful restraint.
Yachanin struck a plea deal with Cuyahoga County prosecutors on March 31. Prosecutors agreed to amend the felony rape charge to first-degree misdemeanor assault, and drop the kidnapping charges. In exchange, Yachanin pleaded guilty to the assault charge and unlawful restraint, a third-degree misdemeanor.
Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Judge Ashley Kilbane sentenced Yachanin that same day to 180 days in jail, and denied a request from Yachanin’s defense attorney Kevin Spellacy to allow him to serve his sentence on house arrest.
Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Greg Mussman told Kilbane that the woman agreed to the plea, and Mussman read a letter from her in court before Kilbane handed down her sentence, records say.
Spellacy filed a motion in May asking Kilbane to grant Yachanin early release. Prosecutors did not object to the request, and Kilbane granted it on June 7, court records show.
The city hired Yachanin as a firefighter in 2014.
In his termination letter the city released Tuesday, Howard wrote that Yachanin violated the department’s and the city’s rules that require employees not to violate city, state or federal laws.
“Although you pleaded guilty to lesser misdemeanor offenses of violence, your conduct was unbecoming of an employee of public service and a failure of good behavior,” the letter read.
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