CLEVELAND – A Cleveland-area man was sentenced Thursday to 35 years in prison for breaking into two homes last year and kidnapping and raping a young girl and trying to abduct another girl.
Justin Christian, 30, pleaded guilty to charges including rape, kidnapping and burglary. He declined to say anything before a judge issued a sentence that carries no chance of parole.
Prosecutors said Christian carefully planned the abduction attempts and scouted the homes. They said he went into one home and unlocked several doors and windows the day before he tried to grab a 10-year-old.
That girl fought off the attempted abduction in February 2016 when Christian climbed into her bedroom window in Elyria and tried to pull her outside, authorities said.
He kidnapped a 6-year-old Cleveland girl while she was sleeping at home and held her for about 17 hours at another home before dropping her off at an intersection, police said.
He was seen on surveillance video walking near the Cleveland girl's home several times in the days before he broke into the home and kidnapped her, the FBI said.
Investigators found DNA on a ladder used in the second abduction attempt and were able to make a familial match and link Christian to both cases, prosecutors said.
It was the first time the process had been used in Ohio.
Investigators matched DNA from the abduction to the same gene pool of Christian's deceased brother, said Matthew Meyer, an assistant prosecutor in Cuyahoga County.
Christian's attorney didn't return a message seeking comment.