Saturday, May 31, 2008

Man indicted in I-71 off ramp rape pleads guilty, sentenced to 10 years in prison

Dexter Ford, 53, was sentenced to 10 years in prison and lifetime Tier 3 sex offender registration as punishment for charges of rape and felonious assault Tuesday, May 27. He faced a second charge of rape and other charges of kidnapping and attempted rape.

The incident occurred November 8, when a then 23 year old Coryville, OH woman suffered an epileptic seizure on the Interstate 71 on-ramp. Prosecutors originally claimed that the victim sleepwalked before the attack, but clarified it to say she suffered from epilepsy.

But in court on Tuesday, prosecutors clarified that the victim has a seizure disorder which causes a loss of consciousness, followed by several minutes of confusion.

"She's had two brain surgeries and there's a confusion after your seizure, and she wanders off. It was during one of these confused periods that this happened," prosecutor Seth Tieger said.

During the sentencing hearing, the victim spoke in court about her nightmare, as Ford was also HIV positive, and her hope that people know more about epilepsy and other seizure disorders.

"As a 24-year-old woman, I would have never imagined that I would have had to learn so much about epilepsy, and the law, and the horror of HIV. The past six months have been a never ending nightmare of worries about my HIV test results, worries about seizures, and the constant question of 'Why me?' - I hope the answer to 'Why me' is that people will be made more aware of epilepsy and other seizure disorders."

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