Muskingum County Prosecutor
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 26, 2023
Dresden man sentenced for sexually abusing child
A 59-year-old Dresden man was sentenced to 17-and-a-half to 22-and-a-half years in prison for sexually abusing a child.
On Monday, Oct. 23, Gary Clapper pleaded guilty to one first-degree felony count of rape, one third-degree felony count of gross sexual imposition and one fourth-degree felony count of attempted gross sexual imposition.
The juvenile survivor reported the abuse at school last spring, the day after she was abused by Clapper.
In an attempt to avoid investigation, Clapper reported the survivor’s allegations to authorities, claiming they were false.
The survivor received immediate medical and professional attention, including a sexual assault exam and a forensic interview at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
During her interview, the emotionally distraught child described in detail how Clapper sexually assaulted her.
The child disclosed that Clapper told her the assault was to be their secret.
Because of the child’s bravery in reporting the crime immediately and her willingness to share the traumatic experience with authorities, DNA matching Clapper’s was located on the survivor. Oftentimes, DNA cannot be recovered when there is delayed reporting, but in this case, the child immediately reported the assault and received urgent attention.
The quick disclosure of the child and the evidence collected allowed for a swift and thorough investigation, which resulted in a prompt plea and sentencing without the survivor facing additional trauma that often occurs during a trial.
In addition to his prison sentence, Clapper must also register as a Tier III sex offender for the rest of his life.
“In the pursuit of justice, our office’s commitment to the successful prosecution of child sexual abuse cases is second to none. However, we are always mindful of the impact these cases have on the victims,” Prosecutor Ron Welch said.
Follow the Muskingum County Prosecutor’s Office on Facebook for the most current and complete information.