Conviction of child sexual abuse upheld for Preble County man

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(WDTN Photo)

EATON, Ohio (WDTN) – The Preble County Prosecutor’s Office said Wednesday the 2016 conviction of an Eaton man for sexual assault of a child was upheld by an appeals court.

The Twelfth District Court of Appeals upheld the conviction of Larry Brown, II who was found guilty in April 2016 of five counts including rape, sexual battery and gross sexual imposition of a minor.

The victim was a former family member who told authorities in 2013 she had been subjected to ongoing sexual abuse by Brown over a two-year period starting before her 13th birthday.

Brown was sentenced to 10 years-tol-life in prison but the sentence was stayed and Brown remained free on bond pending appeal.

In its four-page decision, the Twelfth District found that Brown’s convictions should be affirmed, finding that the trial had committed no error in refusing to grant Brown a new trial. The appellate court also found that Brown’s counsel, James W. Thomas, had rendered adequate legal representation throughout all proceedings.

A hearing has been set for July 5 when the stay on Brown’s sentence will be removed and he will be remanded to the custody of the state prison system.

Prosecuting Attorney Martin P. Votel said, “Valerie Sargent-Wood did an absolutely excellent job presenting this case. Cases of child sexual abuse are among the most difficult to prosecute – they present unique challenges in the courtroom and they take a psychological toll on all involved. But they are also among the most important cases we prosecute. Children are naturally inclined to trust adults. When an adult abuses this trust to facilitate sexual abuse, it’s a heinous violation of both law and human decency. While a lengthy prison term can’t reclaim a child’s innocence, it can protect children from sexual abuse, it can punish an offender, and it can send the message that our community won’t abide such predation on our most vulnerable members.”

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