By Meladi Brewer
GREENVILLE — A Union City man was sentenced to five years in prison Monday in the Darke County Common Pleas Court on five counts of gross sexual imposition. Judge Jonathan P. Hein presided.
Jeffery A. Thomas Jr., 59, plead guilty to the amended charge of five counts of gross sexual imposition in June. Originally, he faced five charges of rape, all felonies of the first degree, and five charges of gross sexual imposition, felonies of the third degree, for a combined total of 10 charges.
Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Deborah Quigley spoke before the court and said the state believed a prison term was warranted before bringing forth facts about the case.
“The offenses started when the victim was approximately 10 years old and continued for the next two years,” Quigley said.
She said the state believes a five-year sentence was warranted where a one-year term would be imposed on each charge and run consecutively. The victim’s mother told the court she and her family had taken Thomas in off the street to keep him from living the way he was.
“This is how you repay me?,” The victim’s mother asked. “You repay me by doing what you did to my daughter, and not just once. You repeated it and had her convinced she would not have a mother if she told anyone because the state would take her away if she said anything.”
Thomas was given a chance to speak after the victim’s mother. He said he did not tell the victim she would be taken away from her family.
“I had walked away from her more than once and had kept stuff from happening,” Thomas said. “Then I told her we couldn’t keep doing it. I never told her she would get taken away from her family, ever.”
The victim’s mother said her daughter had learned to cry silently because she could not lose her family. She also addressed the long-term consequences of Thomas’s actions.
“She’s got to live with this for the rest of her life thanks to you. It’ll never go away,” The victim’s mother said.
Thomas apologized to the victim’s mother stating he feels bad for what happened.
“I really feel bad for what happened. If I could go back and change it, I would,” Thomas said.
Judge Hein imposed, for each count, a period of five years in the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections to be served concurrently with one another. It is not a maximum sentence, so the total sentence is five years with 103 days credited for the time he has already served in jail. Upon being released from prison, there will be a mandatory supervision for five years. He must also register as a Tier II Sex Offender for 25 years. Failure to comply may result in additional felony charges and terms of incarceration.
To contact Daily Advocate Reporter Meladi Brewer, email [email protected]