Ohio adoptive father sentenced in child rape case

Associated Press

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — A judge who called the crimes "despicable" sentenced an adoptive father Tuesday to 50 years to life in prison, the second lengthy sentence for the 40-year-old western Ohio man who admitted raping three boys in his care and allowing two other men to rape one of his adopted sons.

The sentence here will run at the same time with one of 60 years to life in another case, virtually ensuring that he will spend the rest of his life in prison. In both cases, he pleaded guilty after reaching agreements with prosecutors.

Montgomery County Common Pleas Judge Mary Katherine Huffman followed the agreed-to sentence for his guilty plea to one count of child rape and one count of complicity to child rape. She told the man he had cooperated fully with investigators, but she called his crime "the despicable abuse of your own child, and you allowed others to do the same to this child.

"Your conduct demonstrated your willingness to violate the most important relationship that we possibly can have in life — between a parent and a child," she said, telling the man he destroyed the boy's trust him in. "His future and his life are irreparably damaged."

Asked if he wanted to make a statement in court, the man replied: "No, ma'am."

The sentencing wraps up child rape cases against the man and two other men he allegedly arranged to let rape an adopted son who was 10 at the time. A Dayton area man earlier pleaded guilty to child rape counts in Montgomery County; the other case was in the adoptive father's home county of Miami, where another man pleaded no contest to child rape. The adoptive father had agreed to testify against both men if their cases went to trial.

"He really wanted to make sure that these children didn't have to testify, and that was at the end of the day the most important thing," Nick Gounaris, attorney for the adoptive father, said after sentencing.

Montgomery County Prosecutor Mat Heck Jr. said the state's hope and expectation with the deal is that "this individual will die in the penitentiary." He called the case "incredible and disturbing" and urged that people be vigilant against child abuse.

"I think it also points out how important it is, as a community, that we really work together to stop child abuse," Heck told reporters.

The adoptive father was arrested a year ago Sunday after an investigation that began with an undercover detective looking into an online posting about what was called "taboo" sex.

The adoptive father pleaded guilty Nov. 2 to six counts of raping the three young boys in his care in Miami County. If he were ever released from prison, he would have restrictions including registering with law enforcement and regularly reporting his whereabouts as a sex offender.

A longtime foster parent and former youth basketball coach, the man had adopted two boys and the sister of one of the boys, and had been in the process of adopting a fourth child, another boy. They had all been placed with him from Texas foster care through a private adoption agency. The children were put in the care of county children's services in the aftermath of his arrest.

The Associated Press isn't naming the adoptive father to protect the identities of the three boys and one girl in his care. The children were age 9-12 when he was arrested a year ago.

The man told The Associated Press in interviews late last year that he loved the children and was sorry for the pain he had caused, and that he wanted to spare them having to testify in a trial.

Patrick Rieder, 32, pleaded guilty in Dayton earlier this month to charges including rape of a child under 13. He was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 25 years. In Miami County, Jason Zwick, 30, of the Dayton suburb of Beavercreek, pleaded no contest Jan. 8 to one count of child rape in that case and was sentenced to 10 years to life in prison.

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