A 52-year-old Zanesville man received two consecutive life sentences without parole Monday on child rape charges.

Ron Welch
Muskingum County Prosecutor


Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Child rapist gets consecutive life sentences

A 52-year-old Zanesville man received two consecutive life sentences without parole Monday on child rape charges.

James McCormick previously pleaded guilty to two first-degree felony counts of rape and two second-degree felony counts of pandering obscenity involving a minor.

Those charges came as a result of a joint investigation involving the Muskingum County Sheriff’s Office and FBI.

“In 25 years of prosecuting, I felt I had heard every conceivable excuse, justification or description a defendant could offer to minimize the crime committed. Most are ridiculous, some are far-fetched, a few have even been comical. Then there are the select few which generate outrage,” Prosecutor Ron Welch said in court.

The defendant’s lack of remorse was enraging. When McCormick was interviewed as part of his pre-sentence investigation, the defendant claimed that raping and exploiting the toddler was part of a “noble” attempt to catch sexual predators and he received no sexual gratification.

“This excuse showed the defendant accepted no responsibility,” Prosecutor Welch said. “When a defendant doesn’t accept responsibility, there can be no remorse.”

Prosecutor Welch explained during the plea hearing that in November, investigators executed a search warrant at McCormick’s home, seizing a hard drive containing over 2,000 images of child sexual abuse material, including photos and videos.

McCormick admitted to possessing such images but initially denied sexually assaulting any children.

After a forensic examination of the hard drive, the FBI found video clips showing McCormick orally and digitally raping a child after removing her diaper.

“You didn’t protect the child. You sexually raped her,” Judge Kelly Cottrill said at sentencing. “You killed her innocence. You took it away from her for your sexual desires, perversions.”

Not only do these life sentences provide some justice for the victim in this case, but they also mean this monster will never again be able to harm a child.

“If a harsher penalty was legally allowable, our office would have requested it,” Prosecutor Welch said.

Follow the Muskingum County Prosecutor’s Office on Facebook for the most current and complete information.

Child rapist gets consecutive life sentences