Opinion: Rapists get free passes

Matt Westerhold
Jan 8, 2012


A story in Saturday’s Register, “Sex criminal faces rape charges,” was interesting but left some questions unanswered. Jeffrey Fawdry, 47, was accused three years ago of raping two children. He was indicted in Erie County in May 2009, but “a few days after the indictment was filed, he left Ohio and went to Florida.”

It’s not clear from the story, which is derived from the information provided by officials, how a man who’s just been indicted on child rape charges can simply walk away for a trip to Florida. But the information collected by police and prosecutors can at times be incomplete. A recent rape allegation in Sandusky suggests how this can happen.

A police report filed by the Sandusky Police Department contains inaccurate information about the initial allegation, and then it appears police and prosecutors never documented what the allegation was, or what any witnesses might have said about what happened when the woman was allegedly gang raped in December.

Police did not get any witness statements, and in fact they had initially closed the investigation less than three hours after receiving the information. It was re-opened, however, after a story about the alleged gang rape appeared in the Register. But even after it was re-opened, it does not appear the police department documented anything about what occurred.

Instead, police, a prosecutor, a victim’s advocate, a private attorney and the victim all end up together in a meeting at the law offices of Murray & Murray. But here again, very little is documented in the brief reports, which represent all of the information gathered by police.

There’s no explanation why police and the prosecutor met with the victim in the offices of a prominent law firm. There’s no explanation as to why a private attorney is involved. And there’s still no witness statements, nor is there any documentation as to what allegedly happened. In addition, inaccuracies in the information contained in the initial reports are never corrected. 

Perhaps none of that matters, anyway. With no documentation, an indictment of the men on rape charges is unlikely, and if they ever did get indicted they might simply opt to go to Florida to avoid prosecution for a few years. 

Life in Erie County; ain’t it great? 





I know one of the victims of this creep.  She the sweetest girl I know and she is trying very hard to be brave but what he did to her has left her scarred and afraid of men.  Maybe God will have mercy on his soul if he repents and begs for forgiveness but I hope the court does not.  I do hope that this young lady can forgive him at somepoint in order to put this in her past but I know she has a hard road of recovery ahead.  I hope she learns that not all men are like this evil and sick creep. 

I agree with Matt.  The fact that this creep could run to Florida before being arrested or have his day in court and to be free to hurt other kids as he did in Florida is crazy.  This has to change.  NO EXCUSES!


Westerhold ever consider a career in journalism,  I hear The Morning Journal has a morning route opening in your neighborhood.  With this alleged newspaper and editor clear bias against SPD and the criminal justice system in general, how balanced is this?


Isn't it strange the the victim clearly has retained a Murray & Murray who specialize in civil not criminal matters.  Could this indicate a civil action is the motivation? Is this more about money or being a true victim?   If this is true this is just the type of allegations that make real victims suffer.


I think it should become standard that if the crime is of sexual orientation, then bond should not be permitted.  Only lawmakers will not do it because those that ARE falsely accused could have their life destroyed even more if they are not able to bond.

So, someone please give me ideas on what should be done because I really do not have a clue on how to harshly retain the possibly guilty and protect the truly innocent.

2cents's picture

It's not rocket science kids!  : )


Just saying!

Julie R.

First off, why would a victim of rape ~ according to Sam ~ retain Murray & Murray and why would the police, the prosecutor, a victim's advocate and the victim all end up together in a meeting at the law offices of Murray & Murray? Doesn't make a bit of sense. But that's not nothing new. They don't call it eeerie county for nothing!  

The Big Dog's back

 Florida is one of the top sex offender states. No wonder some from this area go down there.


creep. free pass. must have taken lessons from william kennedy smith.


I can't believe what I'm about to say: I agree with Matt Westerhold. 


The police cant document anything officially cause the register will want to put it in the paper and destroy any chances of a conviction.  Entirely the registers fault.

Florida Native

Mr. Fawdry has actually been charged with 3 counts of rape......not 2.  I don't know how he was able to leave Ohio before being arrested but he was arrested shortly after and has been in prison the last few years on charges of child pornography. Let's all hope he spends the rest of his life here in our wonderful Ohio prison system.



Article once again seems to lack any balance, is one sided and would appear to be the ongoing bias against the local criminal justice system because someone has their bloomers bunched up because Kimmie is bye bye for good.

Mattie didn't you forget that the suspect fled the state within days of being indicated to avoid being arrested and was arrested on new charges within a month in Florida and has been held in custody the entire time in Florida, and will be extradited back to Ohio shortly to face these charges, I guess the facts would dispute your agenda.