EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSATHENS RAPE TRIAL
from Eyewitness News Online
Jury Reaches Verdict In Ohio Day Care Rape Trial
Reported by: Tiersa Davis
Web Producer: Jeff Morris
Reported: Mar. 19, 2013 4:24 PM EDT
Updated: Mar. 20, 2013 10:02 AM EDT
Athens , Athens County , Ohio
An Ohio man charged with raping young girls at a day care facility in Athens County was convicted on one count of a five-count indictment.
Thomas Shifflet, 76, of Glouster was found guilty of gross sexual imposition and not guilty of sexual imposition.
The jury did not reach a verdict for rape and two charges of gross sexual imposition, according to a news release from Athens Prosecutor Keller Blackburn. The deliberation took about 19 hours, and the jury was deadlocked on the three remaining counts, the release said. The court will likely declare a mistrial on the deadlocked counts, and the state will decide whether or not to proceed, Blackburn said.
Shifflet was found guilty of sexually molesting a 3-year old at a day care in Athens. The penalty for gross sexual imposition carries a 1-5-year prison term and sex offender registration. A sentencing date has not yet been determined.
The judge deferred sentencing and ordered a cash bond of $500,000. Shifflet is being held at the Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail.
Jury selection has begun for a man charged with abusing children in a day care in Athens County, Ohio.
Thomas Shifflet, 75, of Glouster is charged with rape and other similar charges. Investigators accuse the suspect of abusing five young girls at a day care facility.
Shifflet's attorney originally requested the trials be separate, but prosecutors disagreed.
Jury selection began on Wednesday, and the trial is expected to start on Monday in Athens County.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
An Ohio man charged with raping young girls is asking for separate trials.
Thomas Shifflet of Glouster in southeastern Ohio is charged with rape and related counts in Athens County Common Pleas Court.
The Athens Messenger reports that the 75-year-old is accused of having sexual contact with five girls between the ages of 3 and 12.
His attorney, John Lavelle, is asking that the charges be split up into separate trials, claiming that "highly prejudicial" evidence in some cases would be inadmissible in trials of the others.
He says the alleged victims have nothing to do with each other and that "each case on its own is so very weak."
Prosecutors say each case involves similar acts and occurred relatively close in time to one another.
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