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Child rapist gets 15 years to life

Sent to prison for abuse in Brimfield

By DAVE O'BRIEN Staff Writer Published: June 6, 2017 4:00 AM
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A judge on Monday said a man she called "a true predator" will not meet with a parole board for at least the next 15 years after admitting to sexually abusing a child.

Common Pleas Judge Laurie Pittman also called out Michael O. Mitchell for what she said was a self-serving statement to the court -- a statement that was "all about you," she told the defendant.

"You're a true predator," she told him, "because predators only think about themselves."

The former Brimfield resident must spend at least 15 years behind bars before he is eligible for parole. Labeled a Tier III sex offender, Mitchell, 35, will be required to register his address with his local sheriff's office every 90 days for the rest of his life, if ever released from prison.

Mitchell pleaded guilty in May to first-degree felony rape, second-degree felony sexual battery and third-degree felony gross sexual imposition for his actions in February.

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"I can't apologize enough," Mitchell said in court. He also said he knew the victim's pain "because I had that stuff happen to me before."

Attorney Gene Fehr of the Portage County Public Defender's Office said his client suffered from sleep disorders, and on the date of the offenses "woke up and things had happened that weren't pre-meditated."

Mitchell eventually admitted his crimes to Brimfield police investigators and decided to plead guilty, Fehr said, adding that the victim "suffered no physical injuries."

Family members of the victim who gave impact statements in court said Mitchell knew she had been sexually assaulted by another person in the past, and asked Pittman to lock him up for the rest of his life.

The victim's mother said Mitchell sat next to her through a trial "with someone else who did this, and then did the same thing."

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He is full of "lies" and "manipulation," she said. The victim's great grandmother also said Mitchell was "very abusive," to her great-grandaughter.

"Please do not allow Mr. Mitchell to hurt anyone else or their families," she pleaded with the judge.

The victim's grandmother also said what Mitchell did to the victim was "not a one-time incident," comparing his treatment of her family to "torture" and "terrorism."

"If he's not stopped and put in jail for the rest of his life he's made threats," she said.

Credited with 235 days already served in the Portage County jail, Pittman also ordered Mitchell to pay $675 in fines and court costs, and ordered him to have no contact with the victim.

"I hope you do some soul-searching while in prison," she told Mitchell. "You'll have plenty of time."


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