A Portage Township man was arrested yesterday on charges that he sexually abused five children in his home over an 11-year period, Ottawa County authorities said.
Logan Paul Dickson, 38, was charged in a secret indictment filed Monday with 133 counts of gross sexual imposition and two counts of rape. The alleged offenses were committed against two girls and three boys between 1990 and 2001, county Prosecutor Mark Mulligan said.
At the time of the incidents, the children were aged 6 to 14, Mr. Mulligan said. They now range in age from 13 to 20.
Authorities said they were astounded by the number of children involved and the lengthy period of abuse.
"This is definitely on the far end of the scale,'' Sheriff Craig Emahiser said. "It makes it all the much more disturbing that
they had to deal with this over that length of time.''
Mr. Mulligan said the children knew Mr. Dickson through their families.
"The children were friends of the family and on occasion would stay overnight in a home that was also occupied by the defendant,'' he said.
Mr. Dickson was arrested late yesterday morning at his home by Ottawa County sheriff's deputies. Sheriff Emahiser said Mr. Dickson complained of feeling ill and was treated at Magruder Hospital, then booked into the county jail, where he remained last night without bond.
"When he was arrested, he went to the ground and said he was having chest pains,'' the sheriff said. "They found some anomaly in his CAT scan.''
Mr. Mulligan said Mr. Dickson was expected to be arraigned this afternoon in Ottawa County Common Pleas Court.
The most serious charge, a rape count, could carry a mandatory life sentence, depending on whether the victim was under 10 years of age when the incident occurred, Mr. Mulligan said. The other rape count is a first-degree felony with a maximum prison term of 10 years.
The 33 counts of gross sexual imposition are all third-degree felonies with a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
Mr. Mulligan said authorities were alerted more than two years ago when the children began telling other adults what had happened.
The investigation, which included the sheriff's office and the Ottawa County Department of Job and Family Services, took a long time because of the lengthy period of abuse and the number of children involved, authorities said.
The prosecutor said neither he nor anyone on his staff had previously handled a case with so many charges.
"We've searched our collective memories, and nobody can remember an indictment that was longer,'' he said. "The closest we can come is 35 or 40 counts.''
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