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YOUNGSTOWN Man gets prison for raping kids



Published: Thu, September 19, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The 10-year terms were the maximum allowed by law.

By BOB JACKSON

VINDICATOR COURTHOUSE REPORTER

YOUNGSTOWN -- A Winona Drive man was sentenced to 10 years in prison Wednesday for having sex with young girls.

David J. Perry Sr. had pleaded guilty in April to two counts of rape. As part of a plea agreement, a third count was dismissed, as well as a specification that could have meant imprisonment for life if convicted.

Judge James C. Evans of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court imposed a 10-year sentence for each count and ordered that they be served concurrently.

Perry has been in the county jail nearly three years while his case was pending. By law, that time counts toward his prison term.

The sentences were the most allowable under Ohio law, and came despite a plea for mercy from defense attorney Mark Lavelle. He said Perry should get no more than five years and be a candidate for early release.

He said a psychiatric evaluation showed that Perry is a pedophile, a condition that was aggravated by drug abuse and a turbulent relationship with his girlfriend.

"David Perry was a classic case of this waiting to happen," he said, noting that Perry is "aghast at his own heinousness" when he thinks back on the rapes.

Lavelle said the psychological report indicated a slim chance of recidivism.

Crime calls for max

But Judge Evans said the nature of the crimes and the age of the victims cried out for the maximum penalty.

"The emotional and psychological damage that has been done to those children is overwhelming," he said.

The victims were ages 13 and under when the assaults happened in 1999. Their mother agreed to the plea bargain to spare them from having to testify in court.

Perry said he's spent considerable time thinking about what he did and trying to improve himself by taking classes while in the county jail. He's also tried unsuccessfully to get sex-offender counseling.

"It's been tough," he said.

That didn't sit well with Assistant Prosecutor Deena Calabrese, who said the psychological damage to the victims outweighs Perry's pain.

"I'm sorry it's been tough for Mr. Perry, but quite frankly it should be tough for him," she said. "This man should be punished for what he did."

bjackson@vindy.com




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