TROY, Ohio – An Ohio adoptive father who pleaded guilty to raping three boys in his care was sentenced Monday to 60 years to life in prison while still facing related charges in a nearby county.
Miami County Judge Robert Lindeman followed the terms of an earlier plea agreement for the 40-year-old man, who pleaded guilty to six rape counts and agreed to cooperate with authorities.
The man had been charged with 31 counts of felony rape in Miami County, where he had been caring for the three boys and a girl in his home. Authorities have said the man had adopted all of the children except for one of the boys, whom he was in the process of adopting. State records show the children were from Texas and were placed with him by a private Ohio adoption agency that is part of an interstate compact to help match children with adoptive parents.
The Associated Press isn't naming the man to protect the identities of the children, who were ages 9-12.
County prosecutors agreed last month to drop 25 counts and recommend the sentence of 60 years to life in prison in return for the guilty pleas.
"Weighing the recidivism and seriousness factors, the court would agree with the recommended sentence and order those sentences to run consecutively," the judge said.
Lindeman said the adoptive father will get credit for nearly 10 months already served. If he is released, he would have to register as a sex offender and keep law enforcement informed of his whereabouts.
The man could have faced life in prison without the possibility for parole. He still faces seven related charges including rape of a child under 13 and complicity to rape in nearby Montgomery County. A hearing is scheduled Thursday in Dayton on a possible plea in that case.
Dressed in an orange jail jump suit with his wrists and ankles shackled, the adoptive father was very quiet and showed little reaction Monday. He declined to make a statement in court.
His attorney, Nick Gounaris, says he was pleased the judge accepted the plea deal.
"The main reason was to insure that the children in this case wouldn't have to come in to court and testify, Gounaris said. "As it relates to this case, we've accomplished that goal."
The man told The Associated Press in a recent interview that he was sorry for hurting the children and hoped to spare them from having to testify.
Prosecutor Gary Nasal wouldn't comment, citing still pending cases, including the upcoming trial of Jason Zwick, who is charged with raping one of the boys.
"It's clear that one of his responsibilities is that (he's) going to testify in the Zwick trial for the state," Gounaris said of his client.
Zwick, 30, of Beaver Creek, is scheduled for trial Jan. 8 on three counts of raping a minor under 13.
Another man is awaiting trial in Montgomery County on rape charges which prosecutors say are related to the rape of a boy under the age of 13 in meetings arranged by the adoptive father.
Patrick Rieder, 32, of Dayton, was indicted on four counts of rape of a child under 13 and was later indicted on charges including more than 40 counts of pandering sexually oriented material involving a minor.
Associated Press writer Lisa Cornwell in Cincinnati contributed to this story.