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Published: Friday, November 10, 2017 @ 3:24 PM
Updated: Friday, November 10, 2017 @ 3:23 PM
AKRON, Ohio — A judge must decide how to deal with a man diagnosed with autism who has repeatedly violated his probation for sexual battery by asking women to touch their bellybuttons.
Graig Burrier, 29, of Stow, pleaded guilty Wednesday to violating probation after approaching a female jogger and asking to see her bellybutton twice in July.
Summit County Common Pleas Judge Mary Rowlands must decide whether to send Burrier back to state prison or to an inpatient treatment program for sex offenders in Minnesota.
Burrier's attorney, Joe Gorman, says his client is autistic and should be given treatment, not prison. Prosecutors argued that Burrier is not autistic and want him to finish the remaining two years of a suspended prison sentence.
"This was not an impulsive behavior; it was deliberate," Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh said in a statement on Thursday. "This is not the type of behavior someone with autism typically exhibits."
Autism spectrum disorder is an umbrella term for a group of developmental disorders that can affect a person's ability to communicate. Repetitive and inappropriate touching could be a sign of the disorder, but it is difficult to say, said Angela Scarpa, a psychology professor at Virginia Tech, who was not addressing Burrier's case specifically.
Burrier was charged with rape in 2011 after he told a pregnant 19-year-old that he needed to touch her bellybutton for a fraternity ritual. Authorities said he pushed her against a wall and digitally penetrated her.
As part of a plea deal, he was sentenced to five years' probation and a four-year suspended sentence, and was released from prison in 2016.
Burrier previously had been diagnosed with autism. But when Rowlands ordered him to undergo a psychiatric evaluation, psychologists said he did not "display symptoms" of the disorder, according to the evaluation obtained by The Akron Beacon Journal.
The evaluation listed five incidents between 2007 and 2010 when asked to see women's bellybuttons. In one instance, he paid an 18-year-old woman $3 to kiss her navel.
Court records show that Burrier had been charged with three previous probation violations. Less than four months after being convicted in 2012, his probation officer said Burrier was suicidal and had made no progress in treatment. He was sent to prison in August 2015 for another probation violation and was released in July 2016.
Prosecutors say Burrier already had a chance at treatment and sending him to prison would protect women from harassment. Gorman argued the treatment wasn't enough and that inpatient care is a better long-term solution.
"I can't imagine housing him in our state prison facility for two years is going to stop the problem," Gorman said. "They've already tried that."
Matthew Lerner, a professor of psychology at Stony Brook University in New York, said autistic people often run into challenges because of their difficulties with different social contexts.
Published: Thursday, July 19, 2018 @ 2:24 AM
Updated: Thursday, July 19, 2018 @ 3:11 AM
SOUTH VIENNA, CLARK COUNTY — UPDATE @ 3:15 a.m: One person was transported to an area hospital after a fire occurred at a mobile home in South Vienna early Thursday morning.
Fire crews responded to the 10000 block of Buena Vista Road just after 2 a.m. on a fully involved trailer fire, according to initial reports.
Damage estimates were not immediately available, however, officials said damage to the inside of the trailer was severe.
The occupant that was able to escape the fire was sent to the hospital for observational purposes, officials confirmed.
The fire remains under investigation.
Crews are responding to the 1000 block of Buena Vista Road on a mobile home fire that occurred early Thursday morning.
Initial reports indicate the trailer was fully involved just after 2 a.m.
Published: Wednesday, July 18, 2018 @ 3:37 AM
Updated: Thursday, July 19, 2018 @ 2:21 AM
THURSDAY: Butler and Warren counties are under a Air Quality Alert from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m. Mostly sunny skies are expected with some increase in clouds late in the day and evening. It will be warmer with highs reaching into the middle 80s. There is a chance showers could arrive overnight.
FRIDAY: Expect a chance for showers and storms, especially by afternoon. There is a chance for one or two stronger storms, especially southwest of Dayton by evening. Highs will be in the middle 80s.
SATURDAY: Numerous showers and storms are expected scattered throughout the day. Outside of storms, skies will be partly to mostly cloudy with temperatures holding in the lower 80s.
SUNDAY: Expect lots of clouds with occasional showers and storms. Highs will be near 80 degrees.
MONDAY: Partly sunny skies will start the week with a lingering chance for passing showers and storms. Highs will be in the lower 80s.
Published: Wednesday, July 11, 2018 @ 3:27 AM
Updated: Thursday, July 19, 2018 @ 1:52 AM
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Published: Wednesday, July 18, 2018 @ 9:13 PM
Updated: Wednesday, July 18, 2018 @ 11:16 PM
WASHINGTON TWP. — UPDATE @ 10:55 p.m.: The condition of the woman found unresponsive, at the side of an in-ground swimming pool at a private residence on Ladera Trail in Washington Twp., is still not known.
According to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, Washington Twp. fire personnel arrived and took over medical treatment. They took the woman to Kettering Medical Center.
A 44-year-old woman has been taken to a hospital after what is being called an accidental near drowning at a private residence in Washington Twp.
Officials tell us the woman may have fallen into an in-ground pool at the home in the 1700 block of Ladera Trail. Medics were able to find a pulse as they took her to a hospital, officials said. Her condition was not immediately known.
Family members were performing CPR on the woman when medics arrived, said officials, who were told the woman was in the water less than a few minutes.
The call was dispatched just before 8:30 p.m., according to Montgomery County Regional Dispatch.
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