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Judge considers sex offender’s early release

Given the volume of materials submitted in conjunction with a motion to release a sex offender from prison, Logan County Common Pleas Court Judge Mark S. O’Connor on Wednesday postponed ruling on the matter for 10 days.

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The court received several letters both in support of, and opposition against, releasing Chad Brown, 38, of Bellefontaine, from prison after serving about eight months of a stated three-year sentence for gross sexual imposition, a third-degree felony.

Among the materials the court intends to go through are a four-page petition in opposition circulated by the victim’s family; a letter of apology from Mr. Brown; and an institutional summary filed by prison staff that reported the defendant had no behavior problems while incarcerated and was considered a low-security threat.

Defense attorney Marc S. Triplett also submitted a psychological evaluation conducted by a Dr. John Matthew Fabian, a Cleveland psychologist, who concluded that Mr. Brown is unlikely to re-offend and suffers from depression and anxiety disorders.

While in prison, the defendant completed faith-based and sexual offender programming, Mr. Triplett said, adding that if released he’d live with his mom, seek out involvement in a local church and take computer programming classes to further his education.

Prosecutors oppose the motion and the mother of the then 12-year-old victim spoke out against Mr. Brown’s early release.

“He needs to serve his time,” she said, scoffing at the notion the defendant suffers from depression or anxiety, “my daughter will have to live with that for the rest of her life.”

Judge O’Connor said he’d rule within 10 days unless further evaluations are necessary. He noted the defendant may only apply for judicial release once and that if it’s denied, he’d have to serve out the balance of his sentence, unless the court files its own motion for judicial release down the road, which it has the power to do.

“If he serves his entire sentence a mandatory post release control sanction applies and if he violates, he’ll be under the control of the Adult Parole Authority,” Judge O’Connor said. “If he gets judicial release and violates community control, he’ll come back here and the court will decide what to do with him.
“I’m biased, I’d rather he be under the control of the court.”

Other cases handled in common pleas court this week include:

Read more Logan County Common Pleas Court news in Thursday's Examiner.

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