Sexual assault sentence may get shorter

A Vermilion man may see six months shaved off his prison sentence for gross sexual imposition, after Ohio’s Sixth District Court of Appeals reversed a sentencing decision late last week.
Courtney Astolfi
Feb 20, 2014
Eddie Frederick was sentenced to five and a half years for a November 2012 incident in which he sexually assaulted an 11-year-old girl. He was charged with two counts of abduction, two counts of attempted rape and one count of gross sexual imposition.

He later agreed to plead guilty to one count of gross sexual imposition and one count of simple assault.

Erie County Common Pleas Court judge Roger Binette gave Frederick the maximum sentence for each count — five years for gross sexual imposition and six months for assault.

But on Friday, the appellate court decided to send the case back to Binette’s courtroom for another hearing. According to Ohio law, a judge can issue a consecutive sentence if each charge was a distinct event.

The Court of Appeals concluded Binette did not explicitly define how Frederick’s actions that night constituted two separate events.

Binette must now hold another hearing to clarify that decision. If he finds Frederick’s actions were indeed a single event, Frederick will have to serve a total of five years.

If Binette finds Frederick’s actions were separate offenses, he will likely serve the additional six months.