Grand jury indicts Ohio dad on 31 counts of rape

ANN SANNER Associated Press Published:

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- An adoptive father accused of raping three boys in his care was indicted by a grand jury on Thursday after an investigation police say began with an undercover detective talking online with someone who had expressed an interest in taboo sexual encounters.

Troy police Capt. Chris Anderson said between 10 and 15 of the 31 grand jury charges carry potential sentences of up to life in prison for the man, whom The Associated Press is not identifying to protect the children's identities.

Police have said the 39-year-old man regularly raped the three boys at his home in a quiet residential neighborhood of ranch homes in Troy, a city of 25,000 residents.

The man was being held at the Miami County jail on $800,000 bond, the sheriff's office said. He is being represented by the public defender's office, which didn't immediately return a request for comment.

Messages left after hours Thursday at the public defender's office and the Miami County prosecutor's office were not immediately returned.

Two other men were arrested earlier on rape charges related to what authorities say was the prostitution of a 10-year-old boy by the Troy man. Officials say the Troy man adopted three children, including a 9-year-old girl, and was in the process of adopting a fourth child.

Ohio authorities have said they're investigating a private adoption agency that helped place the children. If Ohio Department of Job and Family Services investigators find serious procedural violations, the state could take actions including revoking the license of Action Inc. Messages for comment left at Action's office in Dayton weren't immediately returned.

Ohio and Texas family services officials have been communicating with each other on the children's adoption from Texas. Texas officials have said it appeared proper procedures were followed, including background checks on the adoptive father. Troy police have said they don't know of any past criminal activity by the man, who was involved in a local youth basketball program.

The man first was certified as a foster parent in Ohio's Miami County in 2005. Action Inc. has been certified by Ohio for more than a decade.

The FBI has said forensic experts will study laptop computers, files, a video camera and other items seized from the adoptive father's home to try to learn whether there are any more suspects or victims.

Police say an undercover Franklin County detective got on the trail of the Troy man through another man who had sex with the 10-year-old boy and had posted an online ad seeking casual encounters involving "taboo, incest" sex. Two other men -- a 29-year-old from Beavercreek and a 31-year-old from Dayton -- have been jailed on related rape charges, based on the prostitution allegation.

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Associated Press writer Dan Sewell in Cincinnati contributed to this report.