GALLIPOLIS — A Gallia County man accused of raping a 9-year old girl in 2012 will now spend 15 years to life in a state prison.
Stephen L. Bush, 65, of Gallipolis, pleaded guilty Monday to one count of rape and was sentenced by Gallia County Common Pleas Court Judge D. Dean Evans to life in prison with parole eligibility after 15 years.
Bush was arrested Nov. 15, 2012, after he was reportedly questioned for several hours by investigators concerning the alleged rape.
The misconduct reportedly occurred between Aug. 15 and Sept. 19, 2012, and Bush’s arrest came following an investigation that he sexually assaulted a child under the age of 13.
The investigation was led by a deputy with the Gallia County Sheriff’s Office working with agents with the Crimes Against Children Unit of the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation.
As previously reported by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, the suspect was reportedly a “trusted friend” of the victim’s family.
“This defendant was a friend of the child’s family, and he took advantage of that trust in order to abuse the young victim,” Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine stated in a release issued on Tuesday. “Now he will be spending time in prison for this awful crime.”
Bush was indicted on December 13, 2012 — an indictment alleging that the defendant engaged in sexual conduct with the victim, only identified as “Jane Doe” whose date of birth is Aug. 18, 2003.
He later appeared for an arraignment hearing, and bond in the amount of $250,000, 10 percent, was later posted for the defendant’s release from the Gallia County Jail.
Following lengthy court proceedings, the defendant, through his retained counsel William Eachus, filed a negotiated plea late last month. During Monday’s hearing, Bush pleaded guilty to the first-degree felony charge of rape, as per the plea agreement. Following sentencing, the defendant was given credit for 37 days already served, along with future custody days awaiting transportation. He was further ordered to pay court costs.
The prosecution of this case was handled by special prosecutor Daniel J. Breyer of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. Following Monday’s hearing, Gallia County Prosecutor Jeff Adkins praised the work of the attorney general’s office who not only aided in the investigation, but also followed through with a conviction.
“The Gallia County Prosecutor’s Office appreciates the assistance of the Ohio Attorney General’s Crimes Against Children Unit and the Gallia County Sheriff’s Office in obtaining a conviction in what we considered a very serious matter,” Adkins said.
If ever released, Bush will be required to register as a Tier III sexually oriented offender/child victim offender for the rest of his life.