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Sex offender back in prison

Alex Green • May 16, 2014 at 5:14 AM

A convicted sex offender released on parole last summer returned to prison recently because he repeatedly contacted a teenage girl, according to an Ottawa County deputy’s report.


The girl also told investigators the man raped her in January, although the Ottawa County prosecutor’s office never filed rape charges against him. 


It’s unclear why that decision was made, as county prosecutor Mark Mulligan did not return multiple phone messages seeking comment.  


Instead, McClain Durst, 25, of Sandusky — who has a history of sexual misconduct against girls — was charged with contributing to the unruliness of a child. He waived his right to a parole board hearing and accepted 150 days in prison, according to his Erie County parole officer Catherine Hastings. 


Durst’s first prison stint stemmed from sex crimes in Sandusky and Seneca counties. About four years ago, he was indicted in Sandusky County on three counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and, in Seneca County, one count of the same offense. 


He was sentenced to 52 months in prison. He started his sentence on Jan. 29, 2010, and was released on parole on June 21, 2013 — about 11 months early, according to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections. 


In early February, Ottawa County deputies caught wind of the latest incident, after the girl’s friends told a school resource officer that the girl said Durst raped her. The officer contacted Oak Harbor police, who in turn asked deputies to investigate.  


The 17-year-old girl met with Ottawa County Deputy Amy Gloor, whose report the Register recently obtained after making a public records request.  


Gloor investigated the case and gathered a variety of evidence that showed Durst had, at the very least, been communicating with the teenage girl for some time.  


”He wasn’t supposed to be talking with minors at all,” Gloor said.


The girl told deputies the communication began last November, when Durst began “snap chatting” her — referring to a social media and photo-sharing application in which photos disappear a few seconds after users send them.


She said she did not know Durst before the “snap chats.” She told deputies she was “kind of” dating Durst for a brief time, although she pointed out that the relationship was not sexual. 


The girl said Durst then tried to take the relationship to another level and he was relentless in his pursuit of her — following her to work and other places, and he also bought a ring for the girl, the report said. 


On Jan. 27, after the girl finished her shift at her new job, she went to an Oak Harbor gas station to get gas, according to the report.  


Durst pulled up in an SUV and, because it was cold outside, asked her to get inside his vehicle so they could talk. The girl told Gloor she got inside the vehicle because she had talked to him before and she didn’t think there was any problem. 


The girl said Durst then forcibly raped her in the vehicle, the report said. The girl then told a friend about the incident, and they in turn contacted authorities.  


Investigators collected the girl’s clothes as evidence and sent them to the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, where employees determined there was seminal fluid on the garments. The fluid found on the girl’s clothes never underwent an analysis to determine if it was Durst’s DNA.


It’s entirely unclear why those tests were not conducted, as the prosecutor’s office did not return calls seeking comment.   


But there were multiple factors as to why Durst was not charged with rape, according to Gloor, such as the unclear nature of his relationship with the alleged victim.”Several witnesses said they were dating,” Gloor said. 


At no point in Gloor’s reports, however, does it appear any of those witnesses could say if the girl had sex with Durst prior to the Jan. 27 incident. The girl maintained she did not have sex with him.     


When the girl’s mother learned of the allegations, she demanded authorities arrest Durst and charge him with rape. For his part, Durst denied the allegations and said his DNA would not be found on the clothing. 


Gloor said she took about two months of sick leave for a medical procedure, and when she returned from sick leave the case was closed. 


In March, the Ottawa County prosecutor’s office charged Durst with the misdemeanor contributing offense — for his communications with the girl.  


The DNA evidence on the clothing was never tested to see if it matched to Durst. 


A Register reporter left multiple messages with the Ottawa County prosecutor’s office this week, but those messages went unreturned.


Durst’s parole officer, Hastings, said the prison term will run a bit short. Durst will reside in a halfway house for an unspecified amount of time after he’s released from prison in July. He’s currently in the Richland Correctional Institution.


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