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WBNS, Ohio sister stations file lawsuit against Cedar Fair and Cedar Point police

The complaint was filed Tuesday afternoon in the Ohio Supreme Court.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — WBNS, WKYC and WTOL are taking legal action against Cedar Fair - Cedar Point's parent company – and its police department alleging that the amusement park’s police agency has failed to provide access to public records.

The TV stations are asking the Ohio Supreme Court to weigh in.

10 Investigates and our sister stations have been investigating incidents of sexual assault that have occurred inside the employee dorms. Since 2017, our teams found 28 reports of alleged sexual assault reported to Sandusky police. We wanted to know how many additional cases have been investigated by Cedar Point's own police department.

On June 2, 10 Investigates’ Chief Investigative Reporter Bennett Haeberle filed a public records request seeking records about incidents of sexual assault and other issues investigated by Cedar Point police. That followed a similar request by our sister station WTOL that was filed in March.

To date, the chief has not responded to our requests for reports. With no response, it’s not clear if similar incidents – or how many – were investigated by the park’s own police department.

Our reporting revealed how former employees felt traumatized and let down by Cedar Point after alleging they were sexually assaulted while working for the amusement park.

Cedar Point's police department has sworn officers with full arrest powers who go through training with the state.

Attorneys representing the TV stations argue Cedar Point police’s department (with its sworn officers) is acting as a public agency providing public safety within the park, and therefore, should respond to public records requests.

“They perform one of the most fundamental functions of our government,” attorney Kevin Shook, who represents the news outlets, told Chief Investigative Reporter Bennett Haeberle. “The Cedar Point police department is organized under Ohio and Sandusky law. They do all the same things as any other police force. Their officers are sworn in by the city, they investigate crimes, carry firearms and they make arrests. And they are required to comply with public records law because they perform a public function.”

The complaint was filed Tuesday afternoon in the Ohio Supreme Court.

We have reached out to a Cedar Point spokesman for reaction but have not heard back just yet.

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