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.

Humvee stolen from Ohio National Guard Armory in Stow

Published: Thursday, March 23, 2017 @ 5:17 PM

Humvee stolen from Ohio National Guard Armory in Stow

A military Humvee was stolen from the Ohio National Guard Armory in Stow.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol responded at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday to the armory, 4630 Allen Road, where suspects cut through a chain link fence and accessed a secured area where the Humvee was stored. The Humvee was locked at the time of the theft, but the suspect disabled the locking mechanism and drove the vehicle off the premises, troopers said.

The Humvee is marked with bumper numbers 174 and 1-145 near the left tail light and HQ-51 near the right tail light.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the highway patrol at 216-265-1677 or #677.

Man accused of throwing girlfriend’s pug to its death

Published: Thursday, March 23, 2017 @ 12:05 PM

A New York man threw his girlfriend’s dog from the balcony of a seventh-floor apartment last week during an argument in Queens, killing the 12-year-old pug, according to multiple reports.

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New York police told WPIX that Yuk Cheung, 35, threw his girlfriend’s dog from an apartment building on 40th Road on Friday. The dog fell about 70 feet to its death, the news station reported.

Police arrested Cheung on Tuesday, according to records from the New York City Department of Correction.

Cheung’s girlfriend told police that the couple argued after she asked him “why he keeps coming back” to her apartment, according to the New York Post.

Authorities charged Cheung with animal cruelty and possession of a controlled substance. He remained jailed Thursday.

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Deputies: Family kept badly decomposed body, used Vietnam vet's benefits

Published: Thursday, March 23, 2017 @ 4:23 PM

Deputies: Family kept badly decomposed body, used Vietnam vet's benefits

Authorities in Ohio arrested three people after they discovered the badly decomposed body of a 71-year-old Vietnam veteran in a home, according to multiple reports.

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Deputies with the Tuscarawas County Sheriff’s Office found the body of Bob Harris, 71, after learning that his Social Security debit card was being used despite the fact that he hadn’t been seen for months, WJW reported. The body had decomposed to the point where the remains were mostly skeletal, lying in the living room of a home in Wainwright.

The body was kept a short distance from where the home’s residents slept, according to WJW.

“It’s a horribly graphic case,” Sheriff Orvis Campbell told TimesReporter.com.

He said Harris’ body was found in some “of the most deplorable conditions we can describe.” Trash and animal waste was found near the body.

Harris was living with a married couple and their daughter, according to TimesReporter.com. The family had spread stories about Harris moving to Stark County and allowing them to use his Social Security benefits, Campbell said.

Authorities arrested Brian and Stacy Sorohan on charges of abuse of a corpse and theft of a credit card, according to The Associated Press. The couple’s 18-year-old daughter was charged with abuse of a corpse.

Deputies said the circumstances surrounding Harris’ death were not immediately clear. An autopsy will be performed to determine whether his death involved foul play, according to TimesReporter.com.

Florida man steals from woman with disability, spends $9,000 at strip club, police say

Published: Thursday, March 23, 2017 @ 4:05 PM

Florida man steals from woman with disability, spends $9,000 at strip club, police say

A Florida man is accused of stealing $138,000 from a woman with mental disabilities and spending $9,000 at a strip club.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, 48-year-old William Tideberg of Holiday convinced 69-year-old Maryanne Andersen, who suffers from a mental disability, to move in with him from out of state. Tideberg stole the money from Andersen before leaving her alone in a house without furniture, police said.

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Andersen was living in Connecticut in 2015 when Tideberg met her through the internet. Authorities said he made trips to New England and eventually convinced Andersen to move into his home in Tarpon Springs, Florida.

Related: Florida toddler shoots out car window, gun owner arrested  

Tideberg told Andersen, who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and was admitted to a Connecticut hospital for psychiatric treatment in 2014, that she was his girlfriend and fiancée while he tried to consolidate her assets into a bank account that he controlled. The Times reported that he called the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America 76 times in an attempt to transfer her savings to his account, but the association refused after hearing Tideberg coach Andersen on what to say, police said.

Authorities said Tideberg was eventually able to transfer money from another of her accounts, withdrawing $134,910 over the counter and another $4,020 from ATMs. He spent $9,237 of the woman’s money at a strip club in Holiday, Florida, police said.

Related: Florida woman spits on deputy, bites uncle, claims she’s royalty

Authorities arrested Tideberg Monday and charged him with two counts of exploitation of an elderly or disabled person. He remains in the Pinellas County Jail on $50,000 bail. 

Read more at Tampa Bay Times.