The 20-year-old Harrison Twp. man found guilty of raping a 5-year-old boy in the bathroom of a church last April was sentenced Monday morning to 15 years to life in prison.
Blake A. Cole pleaded no contest last month to one count of rape of a child younger than 10 years old in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court and was found guilty by Judge Michael Krumholtz, who called it “a very sad case.”
Cole will be designated a Tier III sex offender requiring lifetime registration every 90 days and will face up to five years’ post-release control. Cole also could have faced a fine of up to $20,000, restitution and court costs. “I’d like to say I’m sorry,” Cole said when sentenced. He was credited with 328 days of jail time.
Defense attorney Barry Galen did not speak on his client’s behalf, and no victim impact statement was read in court.
At the plea hearing, Montgomery County assistant prosecutor Eric Michener read aloud the boy’s graphic statement in which he told investigators what Cole did to him in a bathroom at Fort McKinley United Methodist Church in Dayton on April 9, 2013. Michener said DNA evidence backed up the boy’s claim and that Cole confessed in a recorded interview.
Cole was 19 when he was indicted by a Montgomery County grand jury on one count of rape of a minor younger than 10 years old. Cole’s trial was to begin in early February.
Court records indicate an off-duty sheriff’s sergeant, working as a security guard, went into the bathroom of the church on Siebenthaler Avenue when the boy’s mother called for him. That’s when the sergeant observed Cole, and the boy told his mother a man had done inappropriate things to him.
Court documents also show Cole’s mother said he has a low IQ and a syndrome that results in deteriorating eyesight and the inability to understand or comprehend things. During sentencing, Krumholtz noted that Cole himself was sexually abused as a child, has a low-grade mental retardation and has tried to commit suicide multiple times.
Cole, who was found to be mentally competent for trial by two doctors, lost motions in court to have his interviews with investigators and a DNA swab from the inside of his mouth thrown out as evidence.
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