An Erie County judge on Monday sentenced a Sandusky man to nine years in prison for raping a 12-year-old girl last year.
In pleading guilty to one count of rape, Michael Dabney, 23, avoided a jury trial scheduled for April 23, according to Erie County Common Pleas Court documents.
In May, an Erie County grand jury indicted Dabney on two counts of rape, following months of investigation by Sandusky police Detective Ken Nixon.
Dabney knew the 12-year-old girl through a family member, and he raped her at least twice in early 2012, according to a police report.
The girl had run away from home and was living with friends at the time. A family member told police she suspected the girl had been raped, but when the girl was interviewed by police, she initially identified Jason Langley, 35, also of Sandusky, as her attacker.
DNA evidence did, in fact, lead to a rape indictment for Langley as well. He had raped the girl at his girlfriend’s home, according to a police report. Last summer, Langley was sentenced to more than four years in prison. He remains in the Belmont Correctional Institution.
Nixon interviewed numerous people for weeks last year, seeking to hold Dabney responsible as well. A number of witnesses eventually said Dabney had been “dating” the girl, and the girl herself had said Dabney was her boyfriend, the report said.
One witness told police that Dabney claimed he was Satan, the report said. The witness also told police that Dabney left a notebook in his apartment, and on one page was a drawing of a cat hanging from a tree, with a notation Dabney made about killing the cat and drinking its blood.
After much questioning, the victim eventually told police she had sex with Dabney twice. Dabney was 21 years old at the time, and the girl was 12.
“He was preying on young girls,” Nixon said.
On Tuesday Dabney was transferred from the Erie County jail to the Lorain Correctional Institution in Grafton, where he will serve out his sentence.