Prison term in sexual imposition case upheld

Larry Limpf

The Ohio Sixth District Court of Appeals has upheld the sentencing of a man to 75 months in prison for five counts of gross sexual imposition.
Brian Kiefer, 41, had entered a guilty plea to all five counts in Ottawa County Common Pleas Court but during a sentencing in January 2021 argued his cooperation with the prosecution, his need for continued treatment and his low Ohio Risk Assessment Score for recidivism warranted a less severe punishment.
The trial court had imposed a 15-month prison term on each of the five convictions and ordered him to serve each term consecutively.
In his appeal, Kiefer argued the court violated his due process when it imposed the consecutive sentences because the court’s findings were not “clearly and convincingly” supported by the record.
He noted he had been in treatment for his own mental health issues and would continue treatment so as not to repeat his conduct.
The appeals court noted that state law puts the burden on Kiefer to identify evidence that the record does not support the trial court’s findings and he didn’t meet the burden.
“Kiefer argues that while the record supports a prison term, his recognition of the impact of his conduct on the victim shows that consecutive sentences were not necessary to punish him. According to Kiefer, the record only arguably supports a prison term ‘between six and 18 months,’ ” the appeals court wrote. “The victim suffered multiple psychological conditions as a result of his conduct and, by Kiefer’s own admission, ‘will have trouble throughout her life because of (his) actions.’ Kiefer’s own belief that he should have received a six-to-18-month prison sentence for his crimes does not demonstrate that the trial court erred by concluding otherwise.”
The victim was Kiefer’s minor step-daughter.
During the sentencing hearing, he said he’d “developed an obsession” with the victim and he “acted in a very controlling manner.”
His appeal also argued the sentences were disproportionate to the seriousness of his acts because he was convicted of fourth-degree felonies rather than higher-degree offenses.


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