Child rapist gets two life sentences


By Justin Wier

jwier@vindy.com

YOUNGStown

A man who raped a boy over the course of five years will serve two consecutive life sentences in prison.

“You sentenced that boy to a life of nightmares,” said Judge Lou A. D’Apolito before imposing the sentence Thursday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.

Kenneth Thomas, 38, of Hubbard Road was found guilty of 19 counts of rape, 16 of which occurred before his victim’s 13th birthday.

Judge D’Apolito said Thomas’ actions caused great physical and psychological harm and consecutive sentences were necessary to protect the public.

The victim’s mother read a statement to the court, saying when the jury delivered its verdict in January, the last thing she heard from Thomas was, “You got what you wished for.”

“My wish would be that this whole situation never happened,” she said. “It’s not only Ken that faces a life sentence. It’s many of us.”

Even justice, she said, would not heal the pain caused by Thomas.

Assistant County Prosecutor Jennifer McLaughlin read a statement from Thomas’ victim.

“Ken Thomas should get life in prison because he destroyed a big part of mine,” she read.

The victim described feelings of anger and fear, which he couldn’t express to those around him for fear of Thomas’ retribution.

“I had to keep a lot inside,” the prosecutor read. “Now I think he should be held inside, of prison.”

Thomas’ crimes began when the victim was 9 and continued until he was 13.

In his testimony at trial, the victim said the rapes occurred so frequently over the course of those five years, he was unable to count the number of times they happened.

Thomas showed no remorse and told the judge he could not apologize for things that never happened.

He said he was the victim of a hate crime and made a wide range of accusations which included suggestions that the victim’s mother knows municipal court judges who may have influenced the case and that the jury was biased because several members lived in the same township as his victim.

“I find no credibility whatsoever in any one of [your claims],” Judge D’Apolito said. “The case was decided on the evidence that was introduced, and no stone was left unturned.”

Thomas will be eligible for parole in 20 years. If released, Ohio law will require him to register as a sex offender.

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