Ohio News Briefs


Court rejects Ohio law banning police sex with minors

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A divided Ohio Supreme Court has declared unconstitutional a law that made it illegal for police officers to have sex with minors.

The court ruled 4-3 Thursday that the law arbitrarily added police to a ban on professionals having sex with minors that includes people with authority over children such as teachers or coaches.

Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor, writing for the majority, says the government can’t punish a class of professionals like police without making a connection between their job and the crime.

Dissenting Justice Sharon Kennedy said prohibiting police officers from having sex with minors serves a legitimate state purpose.

The law prohibited police officers from having sex with minors if the offenders were more than two years older than the victim.

Rain causes flash flooding in parts of southwestern Ohio

CINCINNATI (AP) — Heavy rain caused flash flooding that closed portions of some roads and downed trees in parts of southwestern Ohio and northern Kentucky in the Cincinnati area.

Strong thunderstorms dumped nearly 2-4 inches of rain Thursday in the Cincinnati metropolitan region on both sides of the Ohio River. Dispatchers reported a few water rescues in the early morning hours in Ohio’s Hamilton County. No injuries were reported.

A flash flood warning for Hamilton and Clermont counties in Ohio and Kenton and Campbell counties in Kentucky expired shortly after 8 a.m. Thursday. But the National Weather Service in Wilmington says some continued flooding is possible until high water from the earlier heavy rains recedes.

Additional rounds of showers and thunderstorms with heavy rain are likely in the area through early Friday morning.

Ohio family receives Korean War vet’s remains 65 years later

NEW LEXINGTON, Ohio (AP) — The remains of a Korean War veteran who was captured in 1950 have been returned to his Ohio family, and he’ll be buried Friday next to his parents.

Army Cpl. Charles “Perky” White Jr. had been considered missing in action for 66 years.

June Chuvalas, White’s only surviving sibling and who still lives in the family’s hometown of New Lexington, said her older brother died in 1951. His unidentified remains were then taken to the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Hawaii.

Officials in Fort Knox, Kentucky, notified his family about five weeks ago that DNA samples taken from White’s relatives matched the remains.

“For all these years he laid in a national cemetery underneath a granite stone marked unknown, only having a number assigned to his casket,” Rick Chuvalas, June’s son, told the Times Recorder in Zanesville.

His casket, draped in an American flag, was flown to Columbus on Tuesday. Members of the Army Honor Guard carried White’s remains to the hearse that would take him home.

She was the only person at the airport on a bus full of family members who personally knew White.

Small crowds applauded his return along the route to New Lexington on Tuesday. Hundreds held flags and signs, waved and saluted at the passing motorcade in the village’s downtown section.

White will be buried Friday with full military honors at a cemetery in New Lexington. June Chuvalas said the family plans to place a flower on his grave.

“I just feel relieved,” she told the Times Recorder. “I know where he’s at. I know that he’s back here with us instead of way over there.”

Suspect in Ohio shooting says can’t get fair trial in county

LEBANON, Ohio (AP) — A black Illinois man accused of kidnapping a Kentucky woman and fatally shooting her along a southwest Ohio highway says he can’t get a fair trial in a county he calls “racially imbalanced” and wants his trial moved.

Terry Froman has pleaded not guilty to charges of aggravated murder and kidnapping in Warren County and is scheduled for trial Aug. 15. The census estimate for 2015 shows the county’s population as 89.7 percent white.

The Hamilton-Middletown Journal-News reports the 42-year-old Brookport, Illinois, man also says in motions before a Warren County judge that he wants to fire his attorneys.

Prosecutors say Froman is suspected of killing his white estranged girlfriend’s 17-year-old son in Mayfield, Kentucky, then killing the woman, 34-year-old Kim Thomas, along Interstate 75 on Sept.12, 2014.

Ohio man gets prison for stealing over $700K from investors

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio man who admitted to bilking investors out of more than $700,000 over a five-year period is heading to prison.

The Columbus Dispatch reports 63-year-old David DeMathews was sentenced Wednesday to nearly a dozen years behind bars. The Columbus man pleaded guilty in March to fraud and money laundering.

Prosecutors say DeMathews would befriend his targets, talk about his dying sister and borrow money to help pay her mortgage. They say he would eventually mention investments in projects including multi-million-dollar construction plans in Panama.

A judge says DeMathews is a “sociopath” who gained victims with charm and sob stories.

Prosecutors say he used the money on hunting trips and would also use the funds to pay toward $3.8 million he owed victims from a similar scam in California.

Police: 1-year-old drowns in central Ohio backyard pool

GROVEPORT, Ohio (AP) — Police say a 1-year-old boy has drowned after he fell into a backyard pool while his parents were on the front porch of a central Ohio home.

The Columbus Dispatch reports Gage McCann was playing in the backyard of a Madison Township home with his brothers on Monday when he climbed the ladder of an above-ground pool and fell in.

Authorities say the boy’s parents were visiting the homeowner and when they called for the boys in the backyard, Gage didn’t come in. They then found him in the water.

The boy was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Police: Ohio toddler overdosed on painkiller twice in week

MARION, Ohio (AP) — Police in north-central Ohio say the parents of an 18-month-old girl who overdosed on a painkiller twice in one week have been arrested on charges of child endangering.

Marion police Maj. Jay McDonald tells The Marion Star that the child apparently was able to find and eat Percocet pills in both cases.

Marion police were called to a hospital Sunday for a report on the toddler, who had overdosed after doing the same thing several days earlier. McDonald says the overdose antidote naloxone was used to save the girl after the second overdose.

Her 33-year-old father and 32-year-old mother have been jailed. The local children’s services agency also is investigating what happened.

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