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Ex-Canfield DQ owner returns to court

Published: Fri, August 24, 2012 @ 12:07 a.m.

Rapp faces up to 81/2-year sentence in probation case



By Elise Franco



Drug and sex offender Trent Rapp’s arrest for violating probation didn’t surprise some involved in the case against him.

Rapp, 44, of Beaver Township, has been in jail since July 27, when police said he violated terms of his probation by contacting one of the victims in his case.

Rapp was sentenced May 30 to five years of probation after pleading no contest in February to charges of marijuana trafficking, cocaine possession, corrupting another with drugs, possessing criminal tools, illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material and two counts of pandering sexually oriented material.

The former owner of the Canfield Dairy Queen also was ordered to have no contact with the victim in the case and to register as a Tier 1 sex offender.

Carl Frost, Beaver Township police chief, said finding out that Rapp had been arrested for violating probation came as no shock to him or other police officers involved in the case.

“I think he was engaging in illegal activity for a while before we arrested him [in 2009,] and continued after his arrest, but got a little less careful as time passed,” Frost said.

Sam Amendolara, Rapp’s attorney, didn’t return calls to comment.

Judge Maureen A. Sweeney, of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court, found probable cause to have a probation-violation hearing. The hearing today will determine what punishment Rapp will receive.

The judge told Rapp during his sentencing hearing that if he violated her terms, he could face up to 81/2 years in prison.

To the mother of the victim Rapp is accused of seeing last month, prison is the only outcome that would make any sense.

“His [current] sentence just did not fit the crime, in my opinion,” she said.

The woman, who asked not to be identified to protect her son’s identity, said she fears that if Rapp is allowed back on the streets, her son never will fully recover from his drug addiction.

She said she also knows her son wasn’t the first and worries he won’t be the last boy affected by Rapp.

“[Rapp] is a complete facilitator and is a danger to the well-being and safety of my son and our family,” she said. “Whether my son gets well or not, I don’t want him to do this to another family.”

Frost said the case involved several teen victims, but this victim was singled out during the lengthy court proceedings, which lasted nearly three years due to many preliminary hearings and the postponement of his sentencing three times.

“The defense has painted this as a case involving one victim, but what about all the children who are repeatedly victimized by their images being passed around on the Internet?” Frost said. “How about the stash of illegal narcotics found in Rapp’s home; were those only intended for one victim?”

The victim’s mother said her son, who was a teenager when he met Rapp while working at the Canfield Dairy Queen on North Broad Street, is now of legal age and is recovering from a heroin addiction at a rehabilitation facility.

“My son was definitely not an addict previous to meeting Trent Rapp, and that’s why I use the word facilitator,” she said. “This might be the first time he could truly get well and know that justice has been done.”


1legaleagle(27 comments)posted 2 years ago

Ok... So I must ask why did Our finest Judge Sweeney not give him prison with all of the evidence proved against him when he had his first debut in court? Judge I believe you have children dont you? I would not want any child preditor out in the streets. this poor mother is afraid for her son's life. Shame on this justice here in Mahoning County. I'm not saying that I am perfect in any way. In fact perfection is millions of miles away from me in my book. Infact prison wont even change him. Only the Lord our God can. I pray that My heavenly father protect me every night from any harm as well as my family and everyone I know around the world. To the mother who is afraid for her son's life, I pray that God continue to help you and your son because neither one of you asked for this to happen. I too was a victim of abuse when I was a child. That is the reason I feel so strongly against anyone getting probation for it. Not that prison will change that person either; because once a Sexual Preditor always one. Again noting that the only person who can change Mr. Trapp and anyone else out there like this is "God". Judge Sweeney I really hope you use your gavel this time and dispense justice the way it should have been done in the first place. In conclusion, again i'm not saying I'm perfect , it's just that every time i hear of things like that My heart hurts and takems me back to when I was that helpless little boy being abused. Hence, the tears in my heart.

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2blogger(2 comments)posted 2 years ago

To all the citizens of the "Greater Mahoning County"......

Will our Judical System allow Mr. Rapp to be the "Jerry Sandusky of Mahoning County"????

I sure hope not!!

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3HaydenThomas(208 comments)posted 2 years ago

Legaleagle, justice in the mahoning valley is bought and sold like TV's at Best Buy.

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4southsidedave(4780 comments)posted 2 years ago

Ewww...all the times I frequented DQ....yuuuck!

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