Consecutive sentences upheld in rape trial Week Of 10/11/2021

Larry Limpf

The Ohio Sixth District Court of Appeals has upheld the sentencing of an Ottawa County man for the rape of two underage girls.
Daniel S. Monhollen, 32, had entered a guilty plea in Ottawa County Common Pleas Court to three counts of rape of a person under 13 and sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 30 years.
He had been indicted in August 2020 on three counts of rape. But at a change of plea hearing, he pled guilty to amended charges that were all felonies but removed indictment language identifying the age of the victims (“less than 10 years of age”), which eliminated a potential sentencing enhancement of life imprisonment without parole.
At its January 2021 sentencing hearing, the common pleas court sentenced Monhollen to life in prison with parole possible after 10 years, with each count to be served consecutively.
His appeal argued the court erred in sentencing him to three consecutive life terms.
In particular, he had “almost no record even though he was 31” and the court failed to adequately consider the opinion of a neuropsychologist who evaluated him on behalf of the court. The exam concluded that Monhollen “will be at a relatively low risk of re-offending sexually” after serving a single 10-year sentence and that “remaining in prison for three decades would have a minimal impact” on his recidivism score.
The appeals court agreed that the common pleas court placed more emphasis on the need to punish Monhollen rather than upon his propensity to re-offend but it was authorized to do so by the Ohio Revised Code.
“Regardless, the record contains additional evidence supporting the trial court’s findings that consecutive sentences are ‘necessary to protect the public from future crime and to punish the offender’ and ‘are not disproportionate to the seriousness of the offender’s conduct and the danger the offender poses to the public,’ “ the appeals court wrote.
The victims, who are related to Monhollen, provided statements to the court.


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