Youngstown PD Officer Loses His Appeal On Mask Conviction


YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A Youngstown police officer who appealed a contempt charge and 10-day jail sentence for not wearing a mask in court has lost his appeal. Thomas (not so) WISEner was sentenced last March after he refused to wear a mask in court Feb. 23 when he was to testify as a witness.

Thomas argued among other religious beliefs that “he cannot love God if he shows fear of the virus and that he is to emulate God by not lying but would be lying by complying with the mask mandate due to his belief that mask would not protect others,” court documents stated.

The court said Thomas could have challenged the court’s mask order prior to showing up without a mask or appeared by video. They added that some of his arguments on appeal were never brought up to the trial court and that his argument was vague and his objection contained unexplained personal opinion “transformed into a religious tenant. Appellant failed to a make a prima face case…by connecting a sincere religious belief to the mask order to show it had a coercive affect in the practice of his religion. The assignment of error is overruled.”

Court records did not indicate if Wisener intends to appeal this decision or when or if he will serve jail time. His 10-day sentence was stayed pending his appeal.


Youngstown Police Staff Inspector Lt. Brian Butler released the following statement about Wisener’s sentence:

“Officer Wisener will face disciplinary action for being found in contempt of court. He is entitled to due process, pursuant to his collective bargaining agreement. He made a conscious decision to not follow the court’s order.”



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