60-year-old man gets 4 years for sex offenses with boy in Warren County

Published: Thursday, November 09, 2017 @ 5:43 PM

Man gets 4 1/2 Years on sex charges involving 13 year old boy

A Butler County man was sentenced on Thursday to 4 ½ years in prison for unlawful sexual conduct with a boy less than a quarter his age and illegal use of the boy “in nudity oriented material” in Warren County.

John Hopkins, 61, of West Chester Twp., was also classified a Tier II sex offender, required to register twice a year for the next 25 years.

Judge Robert Peeler sentenced Hopkins after rejecting his lawyer’s motion to set aside a plea bargain and set the case for trial in Warren County Common Pleas Court.

RELATED: 60-year-old man accused of sex charges involving 13-year-old boy

The judge said such crimes against children were often found to be key triggers leading to drug addiction or mental health problems.

“These are the kinds of acts that can scar a child for life,” Peeler said.

Lawyer Jeffrey Meadows motioned for a trial after the victim’s mother called for a maximum sentence, and submitted a bill for more than $1,000 for counseling fees, and a prosecutor, queried by the judge for a sentencing recommendation, called for 5 years in prison or “even more.”

Hopkins has been in jail since his arrest in March in the Lebanon Junior High School parking lot, where he was to meet the boy whom he came to know through an App called Grindr, where men seeking men contact each other.

Instead, he was arrested by a Lebanon detective who began communicating with Hopkins. The arrest happened after Hopkins and the boy had sex multiple times after Hopkins picked him up at his home, according to statements during the hearing.

MORE: Lebanon man accused of soliciting bus boy for sex

Meadows urged Peeler to put Hopkins on probation, pointing out he had no record of sex offenses and a criminal record limited to three drunk-driving convictions. He also said the offense was less serious since the boy was willingly communicating with men seeking men and had been turned down twice by Hopkins after he realized the boy’s true age.

The boy’s mother urged Peeler to imprison Hopkins for as long as possible, discounted claims this was Hopkins’ first time engaging with sex with under-age boys.

“You were just caught this time,” said the mother who is not identified to protect the identity of the victim.

Assistant County Prosecutor Chris Delnicki charged Hopkins had preyed on the boy and called for at least 5 years of prison time.

Hopkins apologized and expressed hope the boy and his family would forgive him “as I have also asked my savior and lord, Jesus Christ.”

Dayton officer who fired shots during investigation identified

Published: Saturday, January 20, 2018 @ 1:02 PM
Updated: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 5:29 PM

Salem Ave Police Shootout

UPDATE@ 5:25 p.m.

According to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, they plan to present a case to the prosecutor’s  office regarding possible charges for the involved officer.  That case is expected to be presented by the end of the week. 

UPDATE @ 4:40 p.m. (Jan. 23):

Dayton police have identified the officer who fired shots during an investigation outside Lev’s Pawn Shop on Salem Avenue Saturday.

Det. Justin Saunders fired his service weapon after the driver of a suspect vehicle “attempted to strike a detective with the vehicle,” according to a prepared statement from the department.

Joshua A. Craver and William Goodwin, both 18, were arrested at 3351 Salem Ave. by Riverside police on suspicion of aggravated burglary.

LOCAL NEWS: Snapchat subpoenaed in ex-Miamisburg teacher’s teen sex charges

Two Dayton detectives who had been in the area working on an unrelated issue responded to the pawn shop after Riverside police requested them “due to stolen property from previous offenses being pawned at that location,” Dayton police said.

Saunders has been with the department since Aug. 2008 and is currently on paid administrative leave, while an administrative investigation is conducted.

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office is conducting the criminal investigation in the case.

UPDATE @ 7:30 p.m.

Two people are jailed in connection with an incident late this morning outside Lev’s Pawn Shop in Harrison Twp. that led a Dayton police detective to fire his service weapon.

Joshua A. Craver and William Goodwin, both 18, were arrested at 3351 Salem Ave. by Riverside police on suspicion of aggravated burglary.

Joshua A. Craver (MONTGOMERY COUNTY JAIL)
William Goodwin(MONTGOMERY COUNTY JAIL)

They are in the Montgomery County Jail awaiting formal charges, online records show. Goodwin also was booked on numerous warrants for misdemeanor and minor misdemeanor infractions.

UPDATE @ 2:05 p.m.

Two people are in custody following an officer-involved shooting late this morning in the 3500 block of Salem Avenue.

No one was injured, and the coroner’s office did not respond to the scene, despite earlier reports.

Law enforcement responded to the area of Lev’s Pawn Shop, 3351 Salem Ave. in Harrison Twp.

Dayton police Maj. Eric Henderson said there were reports that a vehicle was spotted there that may have been involved in an aggravated burglary in Riverside, and that the suspects may have been trying to pawn weapons stolen in that incident.

“While approaching this vehicle there was immediate threat and officers discharged several rounds,” he said.

No one was injured when the Dayton detective fired his service weapon.

There are two, possibly three people in custody, Henderson said. The names and potential charges have not been released.

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident, Henderson said.

Riverside is investigating the aggravated burglary in its jurisdiction, and the Dayton Police Department is handling its own administrative investigation, police said.

FIRST REPORT

Yellow crime scene tape surrounded Lev’s Pawn Shop this afternoon as part of a police investigation.

Two people were seen in the back of a police cruiser.

Officers were called at 10:47 p.m. by Riverside police to the pawn shop, 3551 Salem Ave., in Harrison Twp., according to the Montgomery County Regional Dispatch Center. No information was available on what led police there.

>> 2 arrested in armed robbery at Springfield Verizon store

A witness at the scene told our crew on scene that the incident began as a robbery, but dispatch did not confirm that report.

(JEFF BROWN / STAFF)
We are on scene and will update this report as we learn details.

Police: Man who died in jail was arrested with 38 syringes, stolen gun

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 1:25 PM

Dillon Abplanalp, 28, was found dead early Monday in a cell at the Montgomery County Jail. MONTGOMERY COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE
Dillon Abplanalp, 28, was found dead early Monday in a cell at the Montgomery County Jail. MONTGOMERY COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE

Moraine Police arrest records show how Dillon Abplanalp ended up in the Montgomery County Jail, where he died in custody Monday, though it may be weeks before the official cause of his death is determined.

Two Moraine police officers responded just before 7 p.m. on Jan. 14 to the McDonald’s on West Dorothy Lane, where employees reported a male in a tan Cadillac Seville passed out in the drive-thru lane.

RELATED: Montgomery County inmate dead: ‘Hurts worse knowing he died in jail’

FIRST REPORT: Montgomery County inmate found dead in jail cell

The man police later identified as Abplanalp, 28, was unresponsive but woke up as officers repeatedly knocked on the car’s windows, which were locked.

Both officers wrote in a police report that they saw evidence of syringes visible in the car.

A search of the car and Abplanalp’s pockets turned up 38 syringes, 12 grams of heroin and a stolen 9 mm Taurus semi-automatic handgun loaded with hollow-point bullets, according to the police report.

MORE: Montgomery County Jail body scanner ‘going to be a busy machine’

Abplanalp was arrested for possession of drugs, receiving stolen property, carrying concealed weapons and having weapons under disability because of a prior felony conviction. He was also cited for have a fictitious car registration and no driver’s license.

The address given for Abplanalp on the police report corresponds to a homeless shelter, the St. Vincent de Paul Gateway Shelter for Men at 1921 S. Gettysburg Ave.

SPECIAL REPORT: Justice in the jailhouse

Abplanalp was transported to the county jail, where he died eight days later.

A preliminary hearing for Abplanalp, was scheduled for today in Kettering Municipal Court, but the case was dismissed because of his death.

Results of an autopsy may take up to 10 weeks, pending the results of toxicology tests, according to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office.

Arrest made at high school for Walmart shooting in Fairfield Twp.

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 5:21 PM


            Fairfield Twp. police arrested a 16-year-old boy in connection with the robbery of a 17-year-old who was shot in the leg on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018, after they met up for an alleged drug deal in the Walmart parking lot. DAN ACTON/CONTRIBUTED
Fairfield Twp. police arrested a 16-year-old boy in connection with the robbery of a 17-year-old who was shot in the leg on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018, after they met up for an alleged drug deal in the Walmart parking lot. DAN ACTON/CONTRIBUTED

Fairfield Twp. police arrested a 16-year-old male at Colerain High School in connection with last weekend’s shooting at Walmart.

The high school junior was arrested this afternoon on suspicion of aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony, and felonious assault, a second-degree felony. He allegedly robbed a 17-year-old in the middle of a suspected drug deal. Police also believe he shot the 17-year-old in the leg during the alleged robbery.

MORE: Walmart parking lot shooting involved stolen car, drug deal gone bad

The teen was taken to the Butler County Juvenile Detention Center around 4:30 p.m. and will have an arraignment hearing at 8 a.m. Wednesday.

On Saturday, the 17-year-old was shot around 3 p.m. while he was in the driver’s side of a car in the Walmart parking lot on Princeton Road. The shot teen accelerated his vehicle and struck other vehicles and a shopping cart corral, according to police.

Capt. Doug Lanier said detectives are working to piece together surveillance video of the parking lot and have been in contact with the 17-year-old male and his family in gathering information. The 17-year-old was treated and released from West Chester Hospital.

The vehicle used to drop off the teen, and pick him up, from Walmart was a red 2007 Toyota Camry stolen Friday from Cincinnati. The vehicle has been recovered.

The case remains under investigation.

Jury sides with Montgomery County in jail mattress civil rights case

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 3:44 PM
Updated: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 5:05 PM


            David Cooper
David Cooper

UPDATE, 4:15 p.m.: A federal jury decided Tuesday that Montgomery County did not violate David O. Cooper’s 14th amendment rights when it didn’t provide a mattress for parts of his 2012 stay in the county jail.

The jury of six men and two women deliberated for about an hour before reaching its verdict in Dayton’s U.S. District Court. The lawsuit was the first of several against the county alleging abuse and/or neglect in the jail to reach trial. Four others ended with out-of-court settlements. Several others are pending.

“We are very pleased with today’s verdict,” said Mary E. Montgomery, the chief of the civil division of the county prosecutor’s office. “Montgomery County, and the Sheriff’s Office, accommodated the inmate in every way possible in order to protect him from his self‐harming behavior.

“The jury agreed with us, and determined there was no violation of his rights while he was incarcerated at the jail. Accordingly, the jury did not award the plaintiff any monetary damages.”

Major Matt Haines, who oversees the jail operations, issued a statement that read, in part: “Each day the staff of our jail is forced to deal with inmates who exhibit increasingly difficult and complex mental health illnesses and extreme behavioral issues. As the number of mental health beds in state and privately funded hospitals has diminished and the opioid crisis has crippled our region, the county jail has seen a surge in the number inmates with mental illness, addiction issues, or both.”

Plaintiff’s attorney John Helbling said: “I still think the conditions he was under were atrocious.”

RELATED: Closing arguments Tuesday in Montgomery County Jail mattress lawsuit

Helbling said the jury had to find deliberate indifference to side with his client and that the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has not ruled that a mattress is a constitutional right for inmates whereas other jurisdictions have.

EARLIER: An 8-member federal jury is deciding if a mattress is a basic necessity of modern life and, along with it, the civil rights lawsuit of a former Montgomery County Jail inmate who sued the county.

The jury heard closing arguments Tuesday in Dayton’s U.S. District Court in David O. Cooper’s lawsuit against Montgomery County.

After lunch, U.S. District Court Judge Walter Rice gave instructions to the jury, which began to deliberate at about 2:30 p.m.

RELATED: Inmate slept on toilet; jail staff hoped to protect him from himself

To prove liability and possibly award damages, Cooper’s attorney said he needed to convince the jury that one or more Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office employees violated Cooper’s 14th amendment due process rights “by depriving him of the minimal civilized measures of life’s necessities” and that they were deliberately indifferent.

Plaintiff’s attorney John Helbling also said he needed to prove that the custom and policy of the sheriff’s office was the moving force behind the actions.

Cooper, 35, has alleged that for about 3½ months of his nearly 8-month jail stay in 2012, he wasn’t provided a mattress and was forced to sleep in a brightly-lit, air-conditioned, noisy glass cell with no blanket wearing just a “suicide” robe.

RELATED: Jury selected in federal jail mattress case

“He begged and pleaded with them to get that mattress,” Helbling told the jury’s six men and two women. “The answer always came back the same: No.”

County attorney Mary Montgomery said round-table discussions were held by staff about Cooper, that “a mattress is not a minimum of life’s necessities” and that the jail did everything it could to keep Cooper alive. “If he had died, we’d still be here because they’d say we didn’t do enough.”

Both sides agreed that Cooper harmed himself in jail and those resulting in trips to medical and behavior health facilities.

RELATED: Trial to start of inmate suing for not getting mattress in jail

“Even when he showed signs of distress, they didn’t do anything,” Helbling said. “The only place he’s being treated as a human was at a hospital.”

Montgomery said Cooper was one who drove his destiny and that the “jail was damned if they did and damned if they didn’t,” she said, adding later that he was conniving and manipulative. “He didn’t like being in the jail. Well, who does?”

If the jury finds Montgomery County liable of the 14th amendment claim, they could award damages to Cooper.

RELATED: County spending on lawsuits passes $1 million

“We don’t want your sympathy. That’s not what this is about. It’s about right and wrong,” Helbling told the jury. “The only thing we can get for Mr. Cooper is to be adequately compensated. It was not a one-shot deal. It was month after month after month. What’s it worth? That’s up to you.”

Montgomery said the jury didn’t have to get any farther than the first part of the jury instructions.

“You don’t even have to get to damages,” she said. “He was not deprived of life’s minimum necessities. A mattress is not part of that.”

The civil lawsuit is the first of several filed against jail staff in recent years for alleged abuse and/or neglect to go to trial.

Four other cases have settled for $888,000 plus the county spent another $444,000 on outside legal counsel and litigation costs, according to county records. Other cases are pending.

JUSTICE IN THE JAILHOUSE: Lawsuits, accusations plague region’s county jails

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