Trumbull County rapist gets highest sex-offender classification

Staff report


James C. Rensel, 60, who served 25 years in prison for raping a young Trumbull County girl, 9, in 1993, was classified as a sexual predator Wednesday during a hearing in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court.

Sexual predator is the highest level of sex-offender registration, requiring Rensel to register for life in person every 90 days with the sheriff’s office where he lives.

Rensel, who lists his address as in Bradford, Pa., was released from prison last September.

Rensel served the maximum 25 years in prison for rape and one for gross sexual imposition. Judge McKay sentenced him to seven to 25 years.

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. He lived in the 1100 block of High Street Northeast at the time he was indicted, according to prison records.

More like this from

Subscribe Today

Sign up for our email newsletter to receive daily news.

Want more? Click here to subscribe to either the Print or Digital Editions.