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Zwick child rape trial starts today

Published: Monday, January 07, 2013 @ 5:56 PM
Updated: Monday, January 07, 2013 @ 5:56 PM

Jason M. Zwick’s trial on three counts of felony rape against a child younger than 13 is set to begin Tuesday morning in Miami County Common Pleas Court in Troy.

The prosecution’s key witnesses will be the alleged victim and Kenneth H. Brandt, who pleaded guilty and was sentenced to at least 60 years in prison for raping three boys in his care. Brandt, who will testify for the prosecution to satisfy his plea agreement, didn’t want his case to go to trial because the boys would have to testify, his attorney said.

Zwick, 30, of Beavercreek, is accused of three counts of rape against one of Brandt’s sons after Zwick allegedly answered Brandt’s Craigslist ad for taboo sex. The indictment estimates the activity took place between Jan. 1, 2012 and Feb. 24, 2012. The case was brought forward after an Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force investigation resulted in charges against Brandt, Zwick and Dayton’s Patrick Rieder.

Represented by Joe Stadnicar, Zwick won’t get to directly face his accuser since Judge Christopher Gee ruled that the alleged victim can testify by closed-circuit television from another part of the building. Judge Gee turned down the defense’s request to have the boy speak in open court or testify in court with only “essential personnel.”

A Troy police report about the incidents describe an interview the boy gave to police in which he referred to anatomically correct photos of nude males and described who did what between himself and Zwick.

In the interview, the boy told investigators Brandt told him he would be having sex with another man that night. The boy said he was awake in his bed while Brandt and Zwick were “in the hot tub out back.” The boy then provided other information about the encounter.

The trial is going ahead after Gee overruled a defense motion for continuation during a Monday hearing because Stadnicar alleged that “key witnesses for the state may have been tampered with and compromised.”

Stadnicar said Brandt’s mother used her cell phone to take a picture or video of Zwick in the Miami County Jail during a visitation when Zwick’s family was visiting. Stadnicar argued the photos could be used to coach witnesses to identify Zwick. Prosecutors argued that ample photos of Zwick were available by many sources and that Brandt’s mother’s photos would be of no use to the prosecution.

Brandt’s Montgomery County case with seven rape-related charges also ended in a plea agreement. His sentencing is set for Feb. 26. Rieder faces four counts of rape of a child younger than 13 and 75 more counts mostly involving illegal use of and pandering obscenity involving a minor. Rieder’s trial is scheduled for Feb. 19.

Police: Woman arrested in prostitution sting left toddler alone at home

Published: Saturday, June 24, 2017 @ 11:45 AM

An Arizona woman arrested on suspicion of prostitution Wednesday admitted to leaving her 18-month-old toddler at home alone, police said.

Alexis Buchanan, 25, was arrested in an undercover sting operation Wednesday afternoon, investigators said. Upon her arrest, she told officers that her daughter was home alone.

>> Read more trending news

Police performed a welfare check and found the toddler in a bedroom on the second floor of the town home, which contained dog waste and small objects that could be choking hazards, KPHO reported. The girl was wearing a heavily soiled diaper and had dried food on her face, officers said. 

The child was taken into protective custody, KPHO reported.

In addition to the prostitution charge, Buchanan faces a child abuse charge, according to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.

Mother abandoned 4-year-old boy found naked in dollar store, police say

Published: Sunday, June 25, 2017 @ 8:40 AM

A Chicopee, Massachusetts, mother is accused of abandoning her 4-year-old son after he was found wandering without clothes Saturday afternoon.

According to police, the boy was found alone in a Family Dollar store without clothes on.

>> Read more trending news

Police told WGGB-TV that the boy “may be autistic.” 

The names of the boy and the mother were not immediately released.

NEW: 7 Florida kids found in 'worst living conditions ever seen’ at home

Published: Friday, June 23, 2017 @ 1:21 PM

Melida Jenkins (left) Shameka Jenkins (right)
Volusia County Sheriff's Office

Police in Daytona Beach arrested two women on Wednesday after they found seven children living in a home covered with urine, feces, bugs and black mold.

One officer said the apartment “had the worst living conditions I have ever seen children exposed to,” WKMG reports. 

>> EXCLUSIVE: How did baby Tayla Aleman starve to death?

Sisters Shameka Jenkins, 21, and Melida Jenkins, 27 both face charges of child abuse with great harm. 

Police said the apartment contained walls covered back to back with black mold, bathroom floors coated with flies and “layers and layers of feces,” WKMG reports. 

>> Florida woman forced to marry rapist at 11 years old

Officers found the children trying to get fresh air from a ceiling fan in a room that had dirty mattresses with cockroaches crawling on the floors, according to WKMG. The temperature inside the home was hotter than outside, police said. 

The oldest child is 8 years old and the youngest is an infant, police said. Two of the children are Melida Jenkins and five are Shameka’s. 

Shameka Jenkins told officers that she submitted complaints to her landlord about the apartment “but they would not help her,” according to WKMG. 

The seven children are in temporary custody with their grandmother while the Department of Children and Families investigates. 

Read more at clickorlando.com

Police respond to reported shooting, find stabbing victim on city’s east side

Published: Sunday, June 25, 2017 @ 8:30 AM

Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images
Getty Images

UPDATE @ 9:45 a.m.

Police in Dayton responded to a reported shooting early Sunday morning, but it turns out a Hispanic male suffered a stab wound, not a gunshot, according to Sgt. Matthew Locke.

The victim was taken to Miami Valley Hospital for treatment of the injury, which was not considered life-threatening, Locke said.

The emergency dispatch center got two calls related to the incident.

The first call came from the St. Mary Catholic Church on Allen Street where the victim showed up and asked for help.

Locke said the second call came from an address on Church Street, and evidence indicates the stabbing happened on Church Street.

The victim went into surgery and police have not had a chance to interview him.

EARLIER

Dayton police are investigating a shooting Sunday morning, according to Montgomery County dispatchers. 

Crews were sent to the reported shooting in the 100 block of Church Street around 7:24 a.m. 

Initial reports indicate investigators are collecting evidence at the address and found blood on a fence in the area. 

Dispatchers said the number of victims and further details are unknown at this time.