GALLIPOLIS — A Gallia County man is headed to prison for failure to pay child support.
Gallia County Prosecutor Jeff Adkins said Terry Pratt, 30, was sentenced to 11 months in the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction for violating the terms of his adult probation with the Gallia County Common Pleas Court.
“Last year, the state of Ohio pursued felony criminal charges against Mr. Pratt for his continued failure to pay child support in violation of an order of the Gallia County Common Pleas Court,” Adkins said. “The state makes every effort to work with those who owe child support and who are making valid attempts toward seeking employment and even making attempts to comply with the court’s order. In this case, there were no efforts being taken by the defendant and therefore the state made the decision to pursue felony prosecution.”
Pratt pleaded guilty to non-support of dependents, a fifth-degree felony, in January and was placed on adult probation. According to Assistant Prosecutor Eric Mulford, Pratt reportedly violated the terms of his probation by failing multiple drug tests as well as failing to report to his adult probation officer.
“At the time of the defendant’s sentencing, it is explained that such violations will result in an 11-month mandatory prison term.” he said.
Assistant Prosecutor Britt Wiseman said Pratt was neglecting his duty as a parent to support his child.
“When a child is born, it is the responsibility of the biological parents to care for and provide for that child,” he said. “The state steps in in certain situations to lend assistance where it is necessary for the well-being, safety and health of the child. It is oftentimes at that point in time when the state seeks reimbursement from the biological parents for expenses incurred by the taxpayers in the form of food stamps, health insurance and cash assistance. The biological parents are then ordered to pay child support for the benefit of the child and when they fail to do so, there are enforcement mechanisms in place that may be pursued.”
Reach Michael Johnson at 740-446-2342, ext. 2102, or on Twitter @OhioEditorMike.