WILMINGTON — A jury trial of an alleged rapist began Tuesday in Clinton County Court of Common Pleas.
Larry Casey, 48, of Gallipolis, a former police officer in southwestern Ohio, is being tried on a dozen sex-related charges, including rape, sexual battery and unlawful sexual conduct with a minor. The alleged victim in those charges is the same juvenile.
Casey also is being tried for allegedly failing to report a change in address as a designated sex offender. That charge stems from Casey’s 2010 conviction for sexual battery.
In an effort to protect the identities of the alleged victim and the victim of Casey’s prior case, their identities will not be revealed, but will report Casey was in a position of trust both to the alleged victim and to the confirmed victim, both minors at the time.
In opening statements on Tuesday, Special Prosecutor Eric Michener of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office alleged Casey was guilty in the current case of a pattern of criminal behavior occurring during several years and taking place in Morrow, Blanchester and Wilmington.
The young girl was only able to tell what happened after she was situated safe from the defendant a number of years later, said the prosecutor.
But the delay in making allegations is normal for child victims of sexual abuse, Michener said, adding that an expert on the subject would testify to that in the trial.
Clinton County Public Defender Robert “Rob” Baker, in his opening statement, said if the alleged victim had been sexually abused, it would have come out during the investigation of the 2010 case.
The alleged victim had a motive to lie about Casey, knew of Casey’s prior sexual battery conviction and took advantage of the situation, said Baker.
The public defender also said Casey pleaded guilty in the 2010 case, but did not plead guilty in the present case because it did not happen.
The alleged victim is scheduled to take the witness stand Wednesday morning.
The jury hearing the case is comprised of nine women and three men, selected Tuesday morning.
The prosecution team made an offer to Casey before an October 2015 pre-trial hearing, which Casey rejected. If Casey had accepted the deal, he would have served 18 years in prison.
Casey formerly was police chief at Newtonsville in Clermont County, and formerly was a police officer for the Harveysburg Police Department in Warren County near the Clinton County line.
Clinton County Children Services staff originally investigated Casey for potential child abuse. The case was investigated by Wilmington Police Department Det. Bob Wilson, according to WPD Chief Duane Weyand.
It was also investigated by Blanchester police, according to BPD Chief Scott Reinbolt. That investigation revealed that between Sept. 1, 2009 and Sept. 30, 2011, a girl, who would have been 9 to 11 years old, was raped by someone she knew while in Blanchester, Reinbolt said.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768 or on Twitter @GHuffenberger.