Rapist given six years in prison



An admitted child rapist, who tried to withdraw his May guilty pleas, was sentenced to six years in prison Monday in keeping with an agreement to avoid a life sentence.

Though not bound to the agreement, Logan County Common Pleas Court Judge Mark S. O’Connor followed the plea recommendations when he sentenced Gabriel North, 39, of Lakeview, on one count of rape, a first-degree felony, and two counts of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material, fifth-degree felonies.

The judge had rejected the defendant’s motion to withdraw his guilty pleas.

The defendant was first charged by Logan County Sheriff’s detectives in 2011 and later indicted in July 2013 on three counts of rape, first-degree felonies; three counts of gross sexual imposition, third-degree felonies; 17 counts of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material, fifth-degree felonies; and 25 counts of pandering sexually-oriented material, fifth-degree felonies.

The victim was a girl under the age of 13, according to authorities, which included the possibility of life in prison.

A family friend read a statement from the victim, who was in court for the sentencing.

She told the judge she continues to struggle with the affects of the sexual abuse. She likens it to a room with no windows or doors that continues to close in on her.

“He is in every single one of my nightmares,” the victim said. “He only gets a few years and I have to live with it for the rest of my life.

“He doesn’t deserve my forgiveness.”

The rapist was labeled a Tier III sex offender and will have to register every 90 days with a local sheriff for the rest of his life.

Springfield drug dealer given five years

Marcus A. Hagans, 27, of Springfield, entered guilty pleas to two counts of trafficking in drugs, both fifth-degree felonies and one count of engaging a pattern of corrupt behavior, a first-degree felony.

As part of the plea agreement, six other charges were dropped and the defendant was sentenced to five years in prison.

Judge O’Connor ruled the sentence here will run at the same time as a five-year drug conviction in Clark County.

Petaway avoids prison

Tanito Petaway, 36, of Bellefontaine, will be able to continue working as he serves a 60-day local jail term for trafficking in drugs, a fifth-degree felony.

Judge O’Connor imposed the sentence noting the defendant, who has multiple prior drug convictions, has maintained a job for nearly a year and stayed out of trouble since a May 2013 arrest.

“Maybe at age 36 you’re seeing the light,” the judge said. “I’m impressed you’ve been working nearly a year and still have the position.”

In a statement to the court, the defendant told the judge, “My daughter gave me an ultimatum. I had to clean up my act or she would leave my life and not be a part of it.”

He told Judge O’Connor he is staying out of bars and off the street.

“I put myself at the mercy of the court,” he said.