A Dayton man found guilty of drugging and raping a University of Dayton student in 2011 was sentenced Monday to seven years in prison.
Joseph D. Fricke, 30, was found guilty on four counts last month by a Montgomery County Common Pleas Court jury in Judge Timothy O’Connell’s courtroom.
Fricke must also register as a Tier III sex offender, register his address every 90 days for the rest of his life and pay court costs. Fricke also faces one year of incarceration for a no contest plea in an unrelated case involving counts of receiving stolen property and sexual imposition.
There were no victim impact statements made during the hearing. The victim’s family declined to speak after sentencing.
“I’m sorry,” Fricke said softly when asked to comment.
Court documents show Montgomery County prosecutors asked O’Connell to sentence Fricke to 20 years in prison for one count of rape with drugs or intoxicants, rape, contaminating a substance for human consumption and possession of criminal tools. But O’Connell ruled that the drugging and rape charges be merged for sentencing purposes.
The prosecutor disagreed with that ruling.
“We believe it was a separate act,” prosecutor Mary Montgomery said of the drugging. “It could have been completed and he could have contaminated the drink without raping her… . In the words of the toxicologist, it was a toxic amount.”
Defense attorney Dennis Lieberman submitted to the court many letters from Fricke’s friends and families professing the defendant’s innocence and asking for leniency.
O’Connell said the rape was not about sex and that Fricke had no remorse. “It is about power and control. It is selfish. It is manipulative. It is deceitful. And in this case, it was violent,” O’Connell said. “(The victim) was treated as the defendant’s toy.”
Court records show Fricke was out on bond from a gross sexual imposition case in another Ohio county when he committed two other sex offenses. Charges were dismissed in the gross sexual imposition case when the victim refused to go forward with prosecution.
“(Fricke) is a habitual sexual predator and needs to be treated as one when sentenced by this court,” prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memorandum.
Fricke was indicted on the four counts stemming from Aug. 27 and 28, 2011. Court records indicate Fricke’s semen was found in the victim, bruises were apparent on her legs and her lip was cut, among other injuries.
O’Connell turned down a motion by Fricke’s attorneys for a new trial. Fricke’s attorneys had earlier sought to suppress evidence of “certain pills supposedly found in the interrogation room of the Dayton Police Department.” Fricke’s assertion was that he had been searched two or three times by police before interrogation. O’Connell overruled the motion.
Fricke was allowed to withdraw a motion to plead guilty last year when his attorneys said Fricke was getting conflicting advice from family members about whether to plead guilty or take his chances at trial.
Court documents show prosecutors say Fricke slipped Lorazepam into the UD student’s drinks. Records indicate Fricke and the victim met at Bargos Tap and Grill on Brown Street. They drank alcoholic beverages there and at his residence a mile away from campus.
According to records, the woman was dropped off at her dorm room the night after the encounter, awoke about noon and went to the hospital when she felt sick. A sexual exam was performed and a large amount of Lorazepam also was found in her system.
“They’re just relieved that this is over,” Montgomery said of the victim and her family. “This has been going on for close to three years. This has been a long ordeal for them.”
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