A Girard man will spend the next two years on probation and be required to register as a sex offender after his conviction for a sex crime involving a minor family member.
Earlier this year, a Mahoning County grand jury indicted Brandon Winner, 27, of Patricia Drive, on two counts of gross sexual imposition. He had been charged with the crimes after police said he committed sexual acts on the feet of a 17-year-old female family member.
Winner entered into a plea agreement with prosecutors in March wherein one of the charges was dropped and the other amended to sexual imposition in exchange for his guilty plea.
Natasha Frenchko, an assistant county prosecutor, recommended a sentence of probation as detailed in the plea agreement. She said the agreement was reached with Atty. James Lanzo, representing Winner.
Frenchko said at Tuesday’s sentencing hearing there was a desire by the family to keep the victim from having to take the stand and testify in a lengthy legal battle.
Lanzo told the court his client does not have a prior criminal history other than parking violations and is not a repeat criminal. He said it is important to note the incidents for which Winner has been convicted occurred after a night of heavy drinking.
“I don’t think you are going to see this young man again,” he told Judge R. Scott Krichbaum of common pleas court.
Winner told the judge he is employed at a bar and has not had any contact with the victim in the case. He said he is working on his drinking problem, a problem that led him to commit the crime for which he was being sentenced.
“I was very intoxicated. I am very sorry. I have never been in trouble in my life. This will be the last time you will see me. I have learned my lesson,” he said.
In addition to the two-year probation, Judge Krichbaum ordered Winter to have no contact with the victim. Winner also must register as a sex offender for the next 15 years and be evaluated by the county’s Treatment Alternatives for Street Crimes program.