Trumbull prosecutor opposes parole for child rapist

By Ed Runyan


Trumbull County Prosecutor Dennis Watkins is again opposing parole for Randall L. Whitmore, who Watkins calls a “brutal child sexual predator” for raping Whitmore’s daughter and one of her friends and other offenses.

Whitmore, 57, has served 30 years and 9 months of a life prison sentence on six counts of rape, one of gross sexual imposition and one of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles. He comes up for a parole hearing in May.

Watkins wrote to the Ohio Parole Board on Monday, saying releasing Whitmore now “would present a clear and present danger to the community,” adding that Whitmore should remain in prison “for the rest of his natural life.”

In 2015, the last time Whitmore came up for parole, Watkins told the board if Whitmore were to be convicted now of the rapes he committed in the late 1980s, he could receive a sentence of life without parole because Ohio has made raping young children more serious.

In 1988, Whitmore told a local mental-health professional he started having sexual contact with his daughter in winter 1986 when she was 5, Watkins said.

Whitmore added he and his wife would get into an argument and she would leave the house, at which time “he would sexually abuse” his daughter.

It started because Whitmore said he was “depressed all the time and he was fighting with his wife over a messy house.”

Watkins said Whitmore engaged in sex with his daughter between age 5 and 7, including “numerous violent physical acts against her.” He tied her arms and legs to bedposts and raped her, the prosecutor said. He told her: “Don’t tell or Daddy will go to jail.”

He also molested two of his daughter’s friends, age 8 and 10, who spent the night with her for a sleepover in their Royal Mall apartment in Niles.

Whitmore, then 26, went into the bedroom where the girls were sleeping and raped both of them, a police report says.

Authorities later spoke with his daughter, and she told them of the sex crimes her father committed against her.

Whitmore was convicted of the lesser offense of gross sexual imposition involving one of the two of his daughter’s friends.

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