Friday, May 16, 2014

Former Officer Timothy Patterson Sentenced for Child Rape

Former Minerva police officer Timothy A. Patterson was sentenced to nine years in prison Thursday after accepting a plea deal for a crime involving one youth and three children.

The 58-year-old, residing at 105 W. Line St. in Minerva, entered a plea of guilty to amend charges against him consisting of two counts of first-degree felony rape, seven counts of third-degree felony gross sexual imposition and one count of third-degree bribery.

According to Stark County Assistant Prosecutor Katie Chawla, who handled the case, the two rape charges were amended to a different section of the rape statute that eliminated the possibility of Patterson serving a life sentence. That was done in order to permit resolution of the case.

Chawla reported three of the youth are currently 11 years old, and she said one child, who was the basis of the majority of the charges, was 6 when the court determined the rapes began, in 2007. The rapes continued until they were reported to police in 2012.

Patterson was also charged with seven counts of gross sexual imposition and with bribery.

Chawla indicated allegations based on one of the charges he plead to involved Patterson offering something of benefit to the mother of one of the victims if she didn't go to the police.

"Some of the charges Patterson pleaded to involved a game of dirty truth or dare," Chawla also reported.

Chawla indicated the court action was a negotiated plea agreement because the families didn't want their children to have to testify in court. In addition to incarceration, Common Pleas Court Judge Kristin Farmer also sentenced Patterson to be registered as a Tier III sex offender. Tier III offenders are subject to strict address verification, and the community and the victim(s) receive notification whenever such an offender relocates to a new address.

Patterson started working for the Minerva Police Department in 1987 and continued as a full-time and part-time employee there for many years, even being praised for his work at one time as an Officer of the Month. Patterson left the police force to take another job that was not involved in law enforcement.

A secret grand jury indictment was issued against Patterson on Feb. 24 and a warrant for his arrest was issued by Judge Kristin Farmer of Common Pleas Court on the same day. He was taken into custody on March 13 by an unidentified U.S. marshal and Stark County Deputy John VonSpiegel. The arrest was conducted by the Northern Ohio Fugitive Task Force, and VonSpiegel was working as a part of the unit at the time.

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