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Hubbard man gets prison time for sex crimes

Editor’s note: This story and headline have been corrected to reflect an accurate criminal charge.

WARREN — A Hubbard man was sentenced to 14 to 18 years in prison Thursday on sex charges involving a minor.

David Kerester, 67, also was labeled a Tier 2 sex offender, meaning he must register his address, after his release from prison, with the sheriff’s office in his county of residence.

The sentence was part of a plea deal Kerester accepted before Trumbull County Common Pleas Court Judge Ronald J. Rice. He pleaded guilty to counts that included illegal use of a minor in nudity oriented material or performance; pandering sexually oriented material involving a minor; and unlawful sexual conduct with a minor. He was sentenced immediately.

County Assistant Prosecutor Gabe Wildman said the now-32-year-old victim refused to cooperate in the case; however, the prosecution said had the case gone to trial, evidence would have included incriminating photos involving the then-child victim.

The victim was 12 years old during the course of the sexual abuse that took place around 2003.

Kerester said the victim “remains a very good friend of mine” and he has been forgiven by the family.

The investigation into Kerester began after the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force received a tip. Local police also received assistance from special agents from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and deputies from the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office Human Trafficking Task Force, according to police.

The police report states that Hubbard police in August searched Kerester’s home in the 500 block of Elizabeth Street and turned up electronic and recording devices.

Police said they believed Kerester was in possession of pictures and videos depicting sexual assaults on children. They said Kerester is seen in one of the files.

Shortly before midnight Aug. 10, Liberty police were alerted by automated speed cameras that the license plate of a fugitive had been detected.

Police found Kerester in a fast food parking lot on Belmont Avenue, the report states. He at first ignored commands to get out of the vehicle but eventually surrendered.

Police said Kerester was found with a newly purchased prepaid phone, another cellphone and a suitcase filled with clothing, checkbooks and a “large quantity” of prescription pills — all of which were confiscated by police. Two golf bags with clubs also were confiscated from the vehicle, the report states.

Given the personal items recovered and an admission by Kerester to police that he knew his home had been searched, police said they believed he was attempting to flee the area, according to the report.

He was handed over to Hubbard police, then booked into the Trumbull County jail without chance for bond.

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