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Man resentenced to 49 years; convicted in 2001 of gang rape of YSU student

YOUNGSTOWN — Prison inmate Chaz Bunch was resentenced Friday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court to 49 years in prison for his part in a brutal 2001 gang rape of a female Youngstown State University student.

Bunch, 35, has served about 18 years of an 80-year sentence.

Ohio and U.S. Supreme Court rulings that prohibited offenders who committed non-homicide crimes as a juvenile from serving lifelong prison sentences required Bunch and co-defendant Brandon Moore, 33, to be resentenced.

The rulings require that offenders have a “meaningful opportunity” to be released from prison at some point in their life, said Ralph Rivera, assistant county prosecutor.

The result of the resentencing is that Bunch will now be eligible to ask Judge Maureen Sweeney or her successor for release from prison in 26 years, when he is 60 years old. He must be released by the time he is 65 unless he commits other offenses, Rivera said.

Bunch was convicted of kidnapping, rape, aggravated robbery and complicity to rape, and ordered to serve 100 years, according to Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction records.

The crimes involved kidnapping the woman from the parking area of her job on Detroit Avenue, then taking her to the Peyatt Street area, where Bunch, Moore and others repeatedly raped her.

Moore got 100 years in prison, according to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. But when Sweeney resentenced him in April 2018, she reduced his penalty to 50 years.

Moore will be eligible to ask Sweeney or her successor for release from prison in 29 years, when he is 62. He must be released from prison at age 65 unless he commits other offenses, Rivera said.

The victim spoke at Bunch’s resentencing Friday. Much of what she said refuted Bunch’s claims that he was not there and not the person who committed the crimes, Rivera said.

Judicial release is different from having a defendant go before a parole board, Rivera said. Ohio law does not allow offenders who committed their crimes as a juvenile to be released on parole, like some other states. Judicial release is instead a release granted by a judge from the court that sentenced the offender.

“For the most part,” Sweeney gave Bunch and Moore the same sentence, he said.

erunyan@tribtoday.com