DARKE COUNTY — Scotty J. Reineke, of Bradford, a convicted sex offender, was granted judicial release January 10, after serving two and a half years of an initial five-year sentence. Reineke pled guilty in Darke County Common Pleas Court in June of 2015, to charges of disseminating matter harmful to a juvenile, as well as pandering obscenity involving a minor. The plea followed Reineke’s indictment on charges related to exchanging sexual dialogue and images with underage girls on the Internet.
Reineke’s criminal record prior to 2015 includes convictions for raping a mentally disabled man and gross sexual imposition involving a 12-year-old girl. Reineke was still on probation for a previous offense when a Greenville mother brought police photos Reineke had allegedly sent to her 10-year-old daughter. Reineke also allegedly solicited photographs over the internet from a 13-year-old girl in Wisconsin.
As previously reported in The Daily Advocate, at the time of his conviction Reineke claimed to have been diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome, obsessive compulsive disorder, a form of cerebral palsy, and mental retardation. He also expressed remorse for his actions, and expressed interest in possible sex offender education and rehabilitation programs that might be available to him in prison. At his judicial release hearing earlier this month, however, Reineke admitted he had not completed any such programs.
“We were opposed to the release for the reasons that he had prior sex offense convictions,” Deborah Quigley, of the Darke County Prosecutor’s Office, said. “So we felt the sentence that he received was appropriate and should not have been reduced. But the court is the final authority, and they granted it.”
Judge Jonathan P. Hein’s ruling decreed that the balance of Reineke’s sentence be suspended, and that he be placed under community control through Darke County’s Adult Probation Department for a period of up to five years. He must also pay court costs, seek and maintain part-time employment, abstain from the use of alcohol and illegal drugs, attend a mental health treatment program with a behavioral specialist employed by the county, and abstain from the possession or viewing of pornographic or sexually explicit materials in any type, format or medium.
Reineke is also to have no contact with persons under 18 years of age, outside the supervision of another adult approved by the probation department.
“There’s always controversy with a ruling like this,” Judge Hein said. “But it’s not like he gets out with no supervision. The object of judicial release is to help non-violent offenders work on whatever problems got them into trouble in the first place.”
The “non-violent” part of the description is key, according to Hein.
“Sex offenses are creepy, disgusting, disdained – however the public looks at it,” Hein said. “But they’re not violent.”
Hein also noted recent cuts to the budgets for Ohio’s prisons, by Governor John Kasich, which make long prison sentences for non-violent offenders less feasible.
“Managing people in the community is less expensive than paying for prison beds,” Hein said. “Everyone applauds the governor when he cuts taxes, then they yell at the judges when they don’t send people to prison longer.”
Ultimately, Hein said, prisons exist to protect the public, and research shows that sex offenders are less likely to commit other crimes after being released than the prison population at large.
“Contrary to what you see on TV, most sex offenders don’t reoffend,” Hein said. “After two and a half years in prison, he should’ve had enough of a learning experience to be capable of participating in society.”
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