WILMINGTON — A Clinton County grand jury in southwestern Ohio has found Larry L. Casey guilty of five charges — four of them related to sex crimes against a minor — and not guilty of four sex-related charges.
Civitas Media does not identify the alleged, minor victims of sex crimes. Casey was in a position of trust to the victims.
Casey, 47, of Gallipolis, was a former police chief of Newtonsville (35 miles east of Cincinnati) and former police officer of Harveysburg (30 miles southeast of Dayton). Casey never served as a police officer in Gallipolis or Gallia County.
The 12 jurors found Casey guilty of rape, two counts of sexual battery, unlawful sexual conduct and failure to register a change of address as a sex offender. Casey had previously been convicted for another charge of sexual battery in 2010 for which Casey pleaded guilty, served five years on community control and was deemed a class 3 sex offender.
The jurors found Casey not guilty of two counts of rape and two counts of sexual battery.
All the sex-related charges involved the same victim.
One of the sexual battery charges and the unlawful sexual conduct charges named Wilmington as the location the crimes occurred. They will be merged into one for sentencing, according to prosecutor Eric Michener, of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. Michener said he would probably pursue the sexual battery sentence.
Additionally, the rape and the other sexual battery count, both of which occurred in Blanchester, will also be merged into one. Michener said he would pursue the rape sentence.
According to the Ohio Revised Code, a rape conviction in which the victim was less than 13 years old at the time of the rape could result in life in prison as the maximum sentence.
Earlier this week, Michener dismissed three of the charges against Casey, citing a lack of sufficient evidence. Rudduck denied Clinton County Public Defender Rob Baker’s motion to dismiss the other charges for a lack of evidence.
Baker, who represented Casey, said Casey was facing a possible life sentence and he would now ask Clinton County Common Pleas Judge John W. “Tim” Rudduck for leniency in sentencing.
“It can definitely be characterized as splitting the baby in some ways,” Baker said. “They found him guilty on half and not guilty on half.”
Baker added that while it’s difficult to guess the jury’s intent, the jury seems to believe he didn’t commit any sexual crimes in Morrow, when the victim was youngest.
“They put in the effort,” Baker said of the jury.
While Morrow is in Warren County, the charges were tried in Clinton County since they were allegedly part of a pattern of conduct.
A bench trial is scheduled for Jan. 21 for Rudduck to rule on the specifications of the charges. Before then, Michener must elect which of the four sex crimes he’ll merge into two for sentencing purposes.
Jurors deliberated the case beginning Thursday evening. Then, they broke after about two hours to return Friday morning. The verdict wasn’t delivered until about 7 p.m.
At one point, it appeared the jury couldn’t unanimously reach at least one verdict.
They submitted a question to Rudduck, who didn’t read their question in court, but did acknowledge that they couldn’t reach a verdict on all nine counts.
He instructed the jurors to return to deliberations and re-examine their position. Hours later, they returned with their verdicts.
Reach Nathan Kraatz at 937-382-2574, ext. 2510 or on Twitter @NathanKraatz.