Suspended Lake County cop accused in rape case pleads ‘not liable’ to disciplinary charges

A suspended Lake County officer accused of rape in criminal charges pleaded not liable to his disciplinary charges Thursday.

Nicholas Medrano, 34, of Crown Point, was indicted by a Lake County grand jury in June on two counts of rape, attempted rape, criminal confinement and sexual battery.

At Lake County Sheriff John Buncich’s request, the Lake County Sheriff’s Police Merit Board suspended Medrano last month without pay as his criminal charges are pending.

Buncich filed four disciplinary charges against Medrano, including violating state law; committing conduct unbecoming (of) an officer of the Lake County Sheriff’s Department; failing to treat another officer or civilian or any person civilly and courteously; and committing acts which bring or tend to bring the individual and the Lake County Sheriff’s Department into disrepute.

Medrano pleaded “not liable” to each of the four charges at a special merit board meeting Thursday to address the topic.

The board scheduled a status hearing on the disciplinary charges Sept. 28.

Medrano previously pleaded not guilty in July to his criminal charges. His alleged crimes occurred between Jan. 10, 2013, and June 30, 2014, with a “professional co-worker,” according to Lake County court records and Indiana State Police.

Medrano’s attorney, Paul Stracci, said the woman is not an employee of the Lake County Sheriff’s Department.

Medrano appears in court again on the criminal charges Aug. 29.

He has been with the sheriff’s department for more than 10 years.

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