The teenage boy who was sexually assaulted by 72-year-old Rondle Carroll for nearly five years was robbed of his innocence, a judge said yesterday at Carroll s sentence hearing in Lucas County Common Pleas Court.
Carroll, who was convicted on three counts of rape and four counts of unlawful sexual conduct of a minor, was sentenced by Judge Denise Ann Dartt to 23 years in prison.
Judge Dartt said Carroll, who was found guilty by a jury in September, preyed on the victim at a time when he was vulnerable because of problems at home, and that he took advantage of the situation to steal his innocence.
His life will never be the same, Judge Dartt said.
The victim, who turned 17 about a month ago and now lives out of state, was not present in court for the sentencing.
But he wrote a letter to Judge Dartt explaining the impact the sexual assaults had on his life, including that it left him with thoughts of suicide for which he was receiving counseling.
The boy testified at trial that he was 10 when the abuse began. He said he often was molested in Carroll s home at 5867 Live Oak Drive in West Toledo. The victim lived nearby. The sexual assaults continued after the victim moved to the Swanton area.
Carroll, the retired owner of a jewelry store, didn t make a statement in court. He showed little emotion as the judge imposed the sentence.
Judge Dartt said Carroll took extraordinary measures to get access to the victim that included forming a friendship with the boys relatives who entrusted the victim into Carroll s care.
Among the disturbing incidents, Judge Dartt said, was that the relative believed Carroll took the boy to get a haircut, but instead molested him in a state park near the boys home.
He utilized all kinds of means to have the boy become sexually active with him, she said.
The sexual abuse was reported to police in 2004 after three boys, ages 12, 13, and 14, said they watched pornography at Carroll s home. While Carroll was acquitted of all those charges, the victim in the current case confided to relatives about the abuse after news media reports about the allegations in the previous case surfaced.
Carroll s attorney, Lorin Zaner, maintained that his client was innocent. He said an appeal would be filed, and asked the court for a minimum sentence.
He said any sentence would result in Carroll dying in prison because of his age and health.
Jeff Lingo, a county assistant prosecutor, said later that a punishment wasn t available that would bring satisfaction to the victim and his family.
There is no appropriate sentence for stealing someone s innocence. But under the circumstances I think it was an appropriate sentence, he said.
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