Though he’s one of the oldest serving inmates in Ohio’s prison system, Charles W. Leichty, 85, is a man prosecutors and victims’ advocates say should never be anywhere but behind bars.
The Toledo man was committed to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections from Lucas County in 1958 for raping and strangling Sonya Sue Long, 15, a Scott High School sophomore.
Leichty was subsequently released by the parole board three times, and every time was sent back to prison for a sexually motivated crime.
“He’s proven that he is not capable of adapting to civilization and abiding by the laws and rules that all of us abide by,” said Robert Miller, chief of the special units division for the Lucas County Prosecutor’s Office. “He’s been given three attempts and all three times he has sexually violated the law.”
Leichty is scheduled to appear before the parole board Wednesday. Mr. Miller said the prosecutor’s office will oppose his release.
“He’s a continuous menace to society,” he said.
Records indicate Leichty was first adjudicated delinquent of raping a 7-year-old in 1944 when he was 17. In 1958, he was convicted of taking Miss Long to a quarry near Gunn and Salisbury roads, raping, and strangling her.
Sentenced to 20 years to life in prison, Leichty was granted parole in 1971. He was returned to prison before the year ended after he tried to abduct and molest two teenage girls.
In 1983, he was paroled a second time but returned to prison a short time later after authorities said he molested a 7-year-old and two 9-year-olds. After his third parole in 2006, he was placed in a nursing home where in 2009, he was found with his hands down another patient’s pants. He was sent back to prison.
Bret Vinocur, president of Block Parole Inc., has posted an account of Leichty’s criminal history on his Web site, blockparole.com. There, members of the public can fill out and submit an online form asking the parole board to keep Leichty in prison.
“Someone needs to speak for this little girl,” Mr. Vinocur said, referring to Miss Long.
Block Parole Inc., he said, was created to stand up for victims with no voice, victims with no family members left to speak on their behalf.
“The older the case, the more worried I get,” Mr. Vinocur said. “Because of the passage of time, people forget. Families didn’t register because [the victim notification system] didn’t exist, and you have a victim with no voice and nothing is more sad than a victim with no voice because the inmate is running the show.”
“I do believe he should spend, like his sentence indicated, the rest of his life in prison,” Mr. Miller said.
Mr. Miller said he asked the victim assistance office to try to locate any relatives of Sonya Sue Long.
— Jennifer Feehan