Sex offender seeks early release

Logan County Common Pleas Court Judge Mark S. O’Connor deferred judgment Friday on a convicted sex offender who sought early release from prison.



John C. Emrick Jr., 48, was sentenced April 9 to four years in prison for one count of attempted rape, a second-degree felony.

The defendant has completed sex offender counseling while in prison and has incurred no disciplinary infractions, his attorney said.

Mr. Emrick was not present for the hearing, but according to his motion for judicial release, the defendant has sought hernia surgery since he’s been incarcerated, but prison doctors won’t perform the procedure, fearing the defendant may go into cardiac arrest resulting from an existing heart condition.

If released, he would need surgery as soon as possible, according to the defendant.

Chief Assistant Prosecutor Eric Stewart noted the defendant’s prison sentence was a negotiated plea to a reduced charge and that he’s already received some leniency through plea bargaining.

Judicial release would demean the seriousness of the offense, Mr. Stewart said.

The court will rule on the matter within 10 days.

Trial of accused rapist continued

A defendant charged with more than a dozen sex felonies had his jury trial continued Friday before Judge O’Connor.

Robert A. Wintersteller, 44, of 11307 County Road 97, Belle Center, will be tried May 6 through 9 for felonies including four counts of first-degree felony rape, four counts of third-degree felony sexual battery, four counts of third-degree felony gross sexual imposition, two counts of fourth-degree felony gross sexual imposition and one count of fifth-degree felony importuning.

Wintersteller Robert


He’s also been charged with single misdemeanor counts of intimidating a victim or witness and domestic violence.

A jury trial had been scheduled for later this month, but defense counsel has not yet received complete documents from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office Special Prosecution Unit, which is prosecuting the case.

Logan County Prosecutor William T. Goslee previously represented the defendant in a civil matter and excused his office from this case.

Defense attorney Gregg R. Lewis has sought from prosecutors a transcript of the Logan County Grand Jury testimony against the defendant.

According to defense, testimony used to indict Mr. Wintersteller would have necessarily included statements from alleged victims that’s likely contradicted by affidavits filed in connection with unrelated civil and/or criminal domestic violence cases involving the defendant.