Proceedings to determine sex-offender designation for Trumbull rapist

Staff report


James C. Rensel, 60, will appear before Judge W. Wyatt McKay of Trumbull County Common Pleas Court today for a hearing regarding the sex-offender registration requirements he will have when he leaves prison Sept. 17.

Rensel has served the maximum 25 years in prison for his 1993 Trumbull County conviction on one count of rape and one of gross sexual imposition involving a girl, 9. Judge McKay sentenced Rensel to seven to 25 years.

Rensel will get one of three classifications – sexual predator, habitual sex offender or sexually oriented offender – said Diane Barber, assistant Trumbull County prosecutor.

But before Judge McKay can rule on it, Rensel will be evaluated by the Forensic Psychatric Center of Northeast Ohio, Barber said.

Trumbull County Prosecutor Dennis Watkins, in a 2013 letter to the Ohio Parole Board, called Rensel a “traveling pedophile” because of the multiple locations where he committed sex crimes.

Rensel was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon in California in the early 1980s, then moved to northwest Pennsylvania, where he was convicted of indecent assault and corruption of a minor involving a 5-year-old child and got a prison sentence of about one to two years.

After moving to Ohio, he was convicted of sexually assaulting the Trumbull County girl during the summer of 1993.Rensel lived in the 1100 block of High Street Northeast at the time he was indicted, according to prison records.

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