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The Dad of the 14 year old approached the podium in Judge Rice’s Courtroom. He looked like he had just finished a shift at a foundry from the look of the dust on his work jeans and boots. The Defendant, Regina Turner, dressed in an orange jump suit, her blond hair down on her shoulders, stood just feet away. It’s always remarkable to see what courage ordinary people possess when it comes to defending their children. The courtroom in Trumbull County, Ohio was full with the usual rabble of those attending pre-trials, defense lawyers waiting their turn and prosecutors plowing through countless drug- related cases. This one stood out. The weight of the moment could be seen in the Judge’s face. The Dad talked about the therapy his son continues to undergo ever since that night when Turner disappeared upstairs at the boy’s house and raped him. At that age there is no issue of consent. It wasn’t his choice that Turner came over to his parents’ house for a relatives’ birthday party and got so drunk that her most primal urges were going to be satisfied.
She left two of her young children sleeping downstairs and another out at the bonfire. Her defense was that she was too drunk to remember what happened and that she usually knows when she has sex even after being drunk. This wasn’t a moment the boy would one day brag about to his friends. He was in bed and at that age knew too little about life. But his Dad knew what it meant. You could hear it in his simple words. “I hope she humbles herself.” Wow those words were powerful. He meant life cannot be about what she wants regardless of the effects on others.
Then the Judge told her how she would spend the rest of her life registering as a sex offender. The Prosecutor prepared the paperwork. He then looked blankly at Turner, who in another time and place would be an attractive young mother, and told her that for the next six years she would be jailed in an Ohio prison. We all learn in law that criminal sentences have a multiple effects. They are to rehabilitate. They are to deter future conduct. And they are to punish. Sentences are always imperfect. It’s the best as a society that we can do. But for this one day justice was had.
According to Ohio recommended sentencing statutes, violations of §2907.04(A) & (B)(3) Unlawful Sex With a Minor, a third degree felony to which the defendant plead guilty, carries a minimum sentence of 9 months to a year in jail with a maximum recommendation of 3 to 5 years. Further, a violation of §2907.02 (A)(2) & (B) Rape, a first degree felony to which the defendant also plead guilty, carries a minimum sentence 5 years in custody.
Our offices for many years have filed civil actions against sex offenders or people who employ them. If you know anyone that has been affected by circumstances such as these, please direct them to contact our office at (330) 729-9777 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if I can help.