MARYSVILLE, Ohio – An Ohio National Guardsman convicted of sexually abusing three adopted daughters faces life in prison at his sentencing Wednesday.
The Marysville man, 42, had been charged with 35 crimes, including rape, sexual battery, gross sexual imposition, intimidation and tampering with evidence. The charges were brought several years after he told a military publication that he wanted to adopt a girl from Africa to protect her from rape.
The guardsman was convicted last month of 15 counts, including rape and sexual battery and acquitted on eight other counts — including charges of sexually abusing his stepdaughter — with the remaining charges dropped before the case went to the jury.
The guardsman, who testified in his own defense, was accused of abusing girls who were under age 13 at the time, with one as young as 5.
Prosecutors alleged he touched the girls in inappropriate, sexual ways and forced two of them to perform sex acts on him. They alleged the man and his wife abruptly sent another girl who had been living with them out of state in July 2012, after she learned of the abuse and reported it to relatives. Prosecutors alleged the parents then threatened the remaining children in the family with a similar fate to keep them from talking about what they knew.
The guardsman and the wife denied this allegation, saying they had been planning for several days to return the girl to her adoptive parents in Idaho because she was disruptive and intimidated the other children. The guardsman was convicted of one count of intimidation related to that charge.
The wife has pleaded not guilty to charges of intimidation and evidence tampering, and her attorney has declined to comment. She is scheduled for trial later this year.
The Associated Press isn't naming the couple to protect the children's identities.