Muskingum County Prosecutor
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 29, 2022
Child rapist sentenced to life without parole, plus 14 years
A child rapist will serve life in prison without parole, plus 14 years for raping a young girl. Last month, jurors in Muskingum County convicted Joshua Carbaugh, 31, on charges of rape with a sexually violent predator specification and gross sexual imposition.
Carbaugh was also convicted on three counts of failure to register as a sex offender. However, the defense chose to separately try those charges before Judge Mark Fleegle instead of before the jury so the details of Carbaugh’s prior sexual assault on a 10-year-old girl could not be introduced to jurors.
During sentencing Wednesday, Judge Mark Fleegle told Carbaugh the offense he committed in West Virginia was nearly identical to his case in Ohio.
The disturbing facts of both cases involved Carbaugh sexually preying on young children and convincing their mothers to betray their own children, side with their abuser and testify against the children.
“The State is pleased to see the defendant receive the maximum sentence and relieved to know he will never be able to harm another child,” Prosecutor Ron Welch said.
Throughout the three-day trial in Muskingum County, Assistant Prosecutor Gerald Anderson presented evidence to the jury, including testimony from lead detective Randy Wilson, a BCI analyst, a forensic interviewer and the minor victim. The minor victim, now nine years old, described the defendant raping her and forcing her to touch his penis when she was only seven years old.
Muskingum County Sheriff’s Detective Randy Wilson explained that Carbaugh was using a fake name when he was arrested in West Virginia while living with the victim’s mother and when he was introduced to her family.
“The defendant took deliberate acts to prey upon this victim,” Mr. Anderson said. He stated that the victim’s parent “is not a mother because she would not protect her child. In fact, he found a woman that would protect him, despite knowing his history.”
From the beginning of the investigation, the victim’s mother and grandmother refused to believe the victim, and their behavior went beyond just lying to the jury about the little girl.
“Her mother attempted to coerce the child into recanting,” Mr. Anderson said.
She and the child’s grandmother made up stories about the victim and even went as far as inventing a sex offender who they claimed had access to the victim in order to create confusion during trial.
After Carbaugh’s conviction, Detective Wilson continued the investigation by tracking down the alleged sex offender the victim’s mother and grandmother had referenced. Not only was that person never around the victim, he had also never been to prison or convicted of any sexual offense.
There was never any dispute of the facts of this case, despite the defendant’s failed attempts to throw the jury. DNA evidence of Carbaugh’s semen was found exactly where the victim said she was assaulted.
The fact that the mother and grandmother chose to testify for the defendant in an attempt to persuade the jury that the child had made up a story only enhanced the victimization of the young girl.
The only thing that could have made the betrayal by the loved ones worse is if the victim’s courage and raw honesty had fallen silent on the ears of the jury tasked with addressing the facts of the case. The jurors instead chose to believe the victim and delivered a guilty verdict on all counts and specifications.
“I'd like to thank the jurors for hearing the voice of the victim through the noise and lies the defense tried to use to drown that small voice out. I'd like to thank the members of the victim's family that decided to report, support and protect the victim when the sexual abuse was disclosed. Mostly, I would like to thank the victim for having the courage to face Joshua Carbaugh and allow the jurors to hear the terrible things he did, even when her family members chose to protect a sex offender over their innocent child,” Mr. Anderson said.
The child is now being cared for in a safe environment, never to be harmed by Carbaugh again.
“The only way to protect children from a predator like him is to keep him away from children,” Mr. Anderson said. “Otherwise, it is certain he would do it again.”
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