Muskingum County Prosecutor
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, April 17, 2023
Child rapist convicted at trial sentenced to life without parole
A 37-year-old Somerset man will serve three life sentences in prison without parole, in addition to a fourth life sentence, after Muskingum County jurors convicted him of repeatedly raping two children for several years.
“A sentence of life without parole means this defendant will never be released to cause harm to another child,” Prosecutor Ron Welch said.
The defendant’s name is not being disclosed in an effort to shield the victims from further trauma.
After three days of testimony, the jury found the defendant guilty on seven counts of rape and eight counts of gross sexual imposition, all carrying sexually violent predator specifications.
In court, Assistant Prosecutor Michael Hughes said this case is within the top 10 worst cases he’s prosecuted in his 20 years of experience as a special victims prosecutor.
Judge Mark Fleegle referred to what the defendant inflicted upon his two victims as “unspeakable acts.”
The investigation began in Perry County in 2019 when one of the two children first disclosed that she was being sexually abused.
During her forensic interview at a child advocacy center, the victim explained that the defendant began sexually assaulting her at the age of three or four.
In separate interviews, both child victims described in explicit detail how the defendant “did bad things” to them.
Both children disclosed that some of the incidents occurred in the Philo area.
Since offenses occurred in both Muskingum and Perry counties, the decision was made to proceed with all of the charges in Muskingum County.
The resulting indictment contained charges stemming from both counties as a continuing course of conduct spanning from 2013 through 2018, which is permitted by law when a person commits a pattern of crime in multiple jurisdictions and involving the same victims.
At sentencing, Judge Fleegle told the defendant “It is important that people see that this type of conduct is not tolerable.”
The defendant must also register as a Tier III sex offender.
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