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YOUNGSTOWN Convict gets probation in sex crime offense



Published: Sun, February 9, 2003 @ 12:00 a.m.



The man was sent back to federal prison for a year after the rape arrest.

By BOB JACKSON

VINDICATOR COURTHOUSE REPORTER

YOUNGSTOWN -- A city man who had sex with a teenage girl while staying at a halfway house was placed on probation Thursday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.

Ronald Hathman, 24, must first report to Community Corrections Association on Market Street, where he'll undergo counseling and treatment for up to six months.

Hathman is also to have no contact with the victim or her family during his two-year probation, said Judge Robert Lisotto.

Deena Calabrese, assistant prosecutor, said Hathman had just been released from a federal prison when the offense happened in September 2001. He was staying in a halfway house to help his transition back into society.

While out on a pass from the facility, Hathman took the girl, to whom he is related, to a house on Plum Street and had sex with her. The victim was 15 at the time.

A county grand jury indicted Hathman on a rape charge in April 2002. He later pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.

Parole violation

Defense attorney Joseph Gardner said Hathman's arrest on the rape charge violated terms of his parole from federal prison, where he'd served about four years of a five-year sentence for a drug charge. He was sent back to the federal prison to serve an additional year for the violation.

The victim was in court for the sentencing, sobbing as Hathman spoke to her.

"I know you might not accept my apology, but I'm very truly sorry," he said.

"I know that I could never say I'm sorry enough."

The victim did not speak, but her mother told Judge Lisotto that the girl has nightmares and has stopped going to school because she is traumatized by what happened.

"I don't understand why this had to happen to her," the woman said.

bjackson@vindy.com




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