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Published: Saturday, 1/22/2005

Killer going back to prison for rape

BY JANE SCHMUCKER
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Sallows Sallows
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BRYAN - A convicted murderer, who escaped the death penalty, was given a life sentence, and then was released on parole, is going back to prison on another life sentence - this time for the rape last fall of a 9-year-old girl near a Bryan elementary school.

This is the second time that Donald James Sallows, Jr., 54, who was involved in the kidnapping and strangulation of a South Toledo man in 1977, has violated his parole by having sexual contact with children.

In 1998, after being out of prison for slightly more than three years, he was sent back to prison for unlawful sexual contact with a 4-year-old. Less than five years later, he was out on parole again and moved to Bryan.

"The real unusual part is that he got out," Williams County Common Pleas Court Judge Anthony Gretick said. "It's extremely unusual. I've not seen circumstances as unusual as this."

Sallows, who was sentenced by Judge Gretick this week, remained in the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio last night, awaiting another hearing in Williams County Common Pleas Court to decide whether he should be designated a sexual predator.

If so designated and if he would be paroled from prison again, state law would require that his neighbors be notified of his history wherever he lives.

That hearing has not been scheduled, but Judge Gretick said he expects it to be in about two weeks.

Sallows pleaded guilty to the rape charge.

He engaged in sexual conduct with a 9-year-old neighbor girl near Bryan's Lincoln Elementary School, which is about two blocks from Sallows' apartment. Those incidents, according to his indictment, were between Nov. 3 and Dec. 3, when he was booked into the regional jail.

Sallows' first sentence to life in prison for aggravated murder was 27 years ago.

He faced the death penalty, but Lucas County Common Pleas Court Judge Melvin Resnick dismissed the specifications that could have led to it and imposed a life term instead, saying the offense was indirectly related to drugs and Sallows was not the instigator of the crime. He was one of five people charged in the death of Joseph Spitzman, 26.

Sallows was the same age as Mr. Spitzman and was living in Sylvania Township in March, 1977, when he drove the truck used in the kidnapping of Mr. Spitzman, who lived near the Medical College of Ohio.

Mr. Spitzman's body was later found in a wooded area in Fulton County, about five miles south of Lyons. He was strangled and beaten to death.

By November, Sallows was in prison. His first parole hearing came 14 years later and was denied. But he got out of prison on his second opportunity in May, 1995, after spending 17 1/2 years in prison.

In September, 1998, he admitted to violating his parole by having unlawful sexual conduct with a 4-year-old and was returned to prison, where he spent 4 1/2 years before being released in April, 2003.

Contact Jane Schmucker at:

jschmucker@theblade.com

or 419-337-7780.



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