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Published: Thursday, 7/4/2013

Rapist escapes Mansfield prison -- on his birthday


A violent rapist celebrated his birthday as a free -- and dangerous -- man by escaping from the Mansfield Correctional Institution Wednesday.

James David Myers, 47, was discovered missing from the prison following a 9 p.m. head count, authorities said. He remains at large today.

Citing an ongoing investigation, prison officials would not disclose how they believe Myers escaped from the prison about 65 miles northeast of Columbus. The prison mostly houses close-security inmates, a notch below maximum security.

UPDATE: Escaped inmate tackled by customer at convenience store

Myers, who is classified as a sexually violent predator, was serving a sentence of 30 years to life in prison. He was born on July 3, 1966.

He was convicted in 2010 of following a 45-year-old Akron woman home from a bar and then breaking into her house and raping her at gunpoint, according to the (Cleveland) Plain Dealer. He was arrested in his car near the woman’s house the next day while stalking his victim.

Myers was convicted in Summit County Common Pleas Court of two counts of rape, kidnapping, corrupting another with drugs, illegal possession of a firearm, aggravated burglary and menacing by stalking.

Myers is white, 5-foot-11 and weighs 172 pounds.

“He is considered to be dangerous and the public should not approach or engage him if they see him. The public is encouraged to call 911 or their local law enforcement,” said state prisons spokeswoman JoEllen Smith.

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