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'Extremely delusional' North Olmsted youth pastor sentenced for sexual relationship with teen
North Olmsted youth pastor Brian Mitchell, 31, was sentenced Thursday for carrying on a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old girl. CLEVELAND, Ohio -- A North Olmsted youth pastor will spend a decade in prison for carrying on a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old member of his church. Brian Mitchell, 31, sat Thursday with his brow furrowed for most of the 90-minute hearing where Cuyahoga County Judge Patrick Corrigan sentenced him to 10 years in prison. Mitchell -- a husband and father of three children under the age of 8-- was the youth pastor at Columbia Road Baptist Church in North Olmsted when he met the victim. He pleaded guilty to four counts of sexual battery. "I'm so sorry to (the) family," Mitchell said. "I can't imagine the work and effort you've had to put into fixing your family." The girl in a letter to the judge that she looked up to Mitchell, and that she sought him out to learn how to live a more spiritual life through religion. Mitchell began sending her text messages that became more and more frequent. Someone brought it to the attention of church leaders and the texting stopped for a time. He started up again, and the girl said the tone of the messages quickly turned from innocent and fun to serious. She said he complained about his wife and their marital problems. She wrote that she wanted the texts to stop but felt scared to say anything because he was a powerful figure in the church and in her life. One day, he drove to her home and told her to come out to his car. He kissed her and told her he wanted to see her again. The next time he drove out to her home, he had sex with her in his car. Another time he had sex with her at her home while his wife was out of town, Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Kristen Karkutt said. "I did not give him permission," the girl wrote. "I clearly said 'no, didn't want to.' I felt like he tricked me." Mitchell directed her to delete text message exchanges between the two and told her never to tell anyone. He picked her up during her lunch break from school. He sent her flowers for her birthday, then asked her mother at church if she knew who sent them. Normally an outgoing teen who played sports and worked two jobs while going to school, she found herself unable to get out of bed. She struggled in school. Once the relationship came to light, the church reported the accusations to Fairview Park police. The girl's mother said in court that church officials told her their family couldn't return to the church until she apologized to Mitchell's wife. Defense attorney Ian Friedman said Mitchell was never aware of that. The family has since left the church. The girl wrote that she still has nightmares and displays what Corrigan called textbook symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. "This is a perfect example of the psychological damage caused by these types of crimes," Corrigan said. Friedman said Mitchell acknowledges that he betrayed the girl, her family, his own family and the church. "The whirlwind two or three months of Snapchats and texts and the secrecy involved created an adrenaline- and lust-filled situation where he felt like there could be a future," Friedman said.   Mitchell, who received about three-dozen letters of support given to the judge, apologized to the girl's family and said he was sorry for what he did, not that he got caught.  He said that he dreamed of being a father and asked for leniency in order to take care of his kids. Corrigan, who had the option to sentence him anywhere between one and 20 years in prison, did not adopt Friedman's recommendation for house arrest. "Your delusional excuse -- that there were emotions and love involved -- is troubling," Corrigan told Mitchell. "That's extremely delusional." To comment on this story, please visit our crime and courts comments section.
4572 points by The Plain Dealer | Cuyahoga County Ohio Text messaging North Olmsted Ohio Fairview Park Ohio SMS Marriage Olmsted Township Cuyahoga County Ohio Mother
Avon police sergeant granted limited driving privileges after drunken-driving arrest
A judge granted limited driving privileges to an Avon police sergeant arrested on a drunken-driving charge. AVON, Ohio -- A judge granted limited driving privileges to an Avon police sergeant arrested on a drunken-driving charge, according to court records.  Avon Lake Municipal Court Judge Darrel Bilancini on Wednesday granted Sgt. George Rupel's attorney's request for a stay on a driver's license suspension to allow him to attend work and doctors' appointments pending the outcome of the case, a court clerk said. The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles automatically suspends the licenses of every person cited with drunken-driving charges in the state, the clerk said. Rupel, 37, of North Olmsted pleaded not guilty to charges of operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol and driving outside of marked lanes. He is due back in court Sept. 20. An Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper pulled Ruple over at 2:17 a.m. Monday on Kinzel Road near Stoney Ridge Road in Avon. Ruple was driving left of the center road line, a state patrol sergeant told cleveland.com. Avon police Chief Richard Bosley said Thursday morning that Ruple had taken off from work since the incident and the chief had not received paperwork about Rupel's driving privileges from the court. Bosley did not know when Ruple would return to work. Ruple is a patrol supervisor and has been with the Avon Police Department for 12 years. He was an officer with the North Ridgeville Police Department for five years before that, Bosley said. Avon police will decide whether Bosley will face discipline once the case makes its way through court. "We want to make sure we have all the facts," Bosley said. Ruple and his attorney could not be reached for comment. If you wish to discuss or comment on this story, please visit our crime and courts comments section. Like Chanda Neely on Facebook. Follow me on Twitter: Follow @ChandaNeely // !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+'://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, 'script', 'twitter-wjs'); // ]]>
32 points by The Plain Dealer | Westlake Ohio Sergeant Ohio State Highway Patrol North Ridgeville Ohio Lorain County Ohio North Olmsted Ohio Judge Avon Ohio
14 die in Cuyahoga County this weekend from heroin and fentanyl, 70 for 2017
Cuyahoga County saw 14 suspected heroin and fentanyl overdoses from Friday to Sunday, the medical examiner said. CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Cuyahoga County residents continue to die at a rapid clip from heroin and fentanyl overdoes after a deadly 2016. Fourteen people died this weekend in suspected heroin and fentanyl overdoses, according to the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner. Some 24 total have died from the drugs in the first five days of the month. There were at least 46 heroin and fentanyl deaths in January. That number could rise to 57 after toxicology tests are finalized, according to the medical examiner. The death-rate for heroin, fentanyl and other opiate deaths have skyrocketed from 64 in 2011 to at least 517 in 2016, according to the medical examiner.  The medical examiner has not yet put out its final report on exactly how many deaths have been attributed to opiates for 2016. But the county more than doubled the number of deaths in 2015, the worst on record at the time. Of the 14 who died from Friday through Sunday, 12 were from Cleveland, one was from Willowick and one was from Brook Park. The youngest victim was 25 and the oldest was 57. Nine were black, one was Indian and four were white, according to the medical examiner's data. The 46 confirmed heroin and fentanyl overdose cases in January ranged in age from 23 to 67. Thirty-two were men and 14 were women, the medical examiner said. Thirty-two victims were white, 13 were black and one was Hispanic. The victims lived throughout Cuyahoga County and elsewhere. Twenty-three were Cleveland residents, three were from Lakewood, and there was one each from Beachwood, Berea, Cleveland Heights, East Cleveland, Euclid, Garfield Heights, Independence, Maple Heights, Middleburg Heights, Newburgh Heights, Olmsted Township and Parma. The eight out-of-county residents who died in Cuyahoga County were from Brunswick, Canal Fulton, Columbia Station, Concord, New London and Wickliffe. Two were from North Ridgeville, the medical examiner said.  The medical examiner also said there was a spike in cocaine-related deaths in January, including 19 who died from doses of the drug mixed with heroin, fentanyl or both. 
1096 points by The Plain Dealer | Cuyahoga County Ohio Cities in Ohio Area code 216 Berea Ohio Brook Park Ohio North Olmsted Ohio Middleburg Heights Ohio Olmsted Township Cuyahoga County Ohio
Drunk woman flips her vehicle on I-71; drunk man drives car into construction ditch: Brook Park police blotter
Brook Park police arrested an intoxicated Berea woman after she lost control of her vehicle and rolled it over on I-71 southbound near Snow Road. Also, a Brook Park man was arrested after he crashed and abandoned his car in a construction-zone ditch. File photo  Operating a vehicle under the influence, Interstate 71: An intoxicated Berea woman, 46, was arrested and hospitalized after she lost control of her vehicle and rolled it over at about 1:15 a.m. Nov. 4 on I-71 southbound near Snow Road. The woman and her passenger were taken to Southwest General Health Center by ambulance. Their injuries were not life-threatening. Police didn't say what kind of vehicle the woman was driving. Operating a vehicle under the influence, Fry Road: A Brook Park man, 55, was arrested at about 3:15 a.m. Nov. 5 after he crashed and abandoned his car in a construction-zone ditch on Fry near Sylvia Drive. The man was intoxicated. Police found him sitting on his front porch about five minutes after the accident. He was not injured. Disorderly conduct, Holland Road: A 64-year-old woman fought her daughter-in-law, 46, at about 6:55 p.m. Nov. 6 in a Holland driveway. Either the woman or daughter-in-law live on Holland but police didn't say which one. A neighbor called police after seeing the women fighting. Police didn't say how they diffused the situation. They referred the case to the city prosecutor for review. Damaged property, Holland Road-Sylvia Drive: A concrete mixer damaged an empty school bus at about 8:30 a.m. Nov. 3 near the Holland-Sylvia intersection. The concrete mixer, moving at about 5 mph, backed into the side of the bus. No one was hurt, and the vehicles were not badly damaged. Disorderly conduct, Cedar Point Road: A Brook Park man, 48, and a North Olmsted man, 19, fought each other at about 8:15 p.m. Oct. 31 outside a Cedar Point Road house. A neighbor called police after seeing the fight. The men were not intoxicated. Police advised both men not to fight anymore. Disturbance, Bowfin Boulevard: A Bowfin man, 37, called police at about 8:20 p.m. Nov. 7 and said his neighbor was harassing his pit bull dog. The neighbor was snapping scissors at the dog, who was outside in his owner's yard. Police advised the neighbor to stop his behavior. Operating a vehicle under the influence, Smith Road: A Cleveland man, 50, was arrested at about 1:50 a.m. Nov. 6 after police caught him speeding on Smith. An open container of beer was in his car. Operating a vehicle under the influence, Brookpark Road: A Mount Vernon woman, 41, was arrested at about 5 p.m. Nov. 5 after police saw the car she was driving hit the curb several times. She was drunk and had 11 bags of medication in her car. Sudden illness, Glenway Drive: A Glenway man, 41, was found unconscious by his mother at about 9:30 p.m. Nov. 9 in his home. He had overdosed on heroin, and was taken to Southwest General Health Center. To comment on this story, please visit the crime and courts comments page.
1 points by The Plain Dealer | Cuyahoga County Ohio Olmsted Township Cuyahoga County Ohio Transport Concrete Pit Bull North Olmsted Ohio
Brook Park councilwoman charged with shoplifting at Target
Julie Ann McCormick, a Brook Park councilwoman, is charged with theft. She is due in Rocky River Municipal Court on Nov. 29. Julie Ann McCormickNorth Olmsted police  NORTH OLMSTED, Ohio - A Brook Park councilwoman is accused of shoplifting at Target in North Olmsted. Julie Ann McCormick, 33, of Brook Park, is charged with theft, a first-degree misdemeanor, in a Monday incident at the Brookpark Road store, according to court records. Her arraignment is scheduled at 1 p.m. Nov. 29 in Rocky River Municipal Court. McCormick is accused of stealing more than $900 in merchandise from the store, North Olmsted Detective Sgt. Bob Wagner said. McCormick could not be reached for comment Wednesday. Council President Jim Astorino said he read the news of McCormick's arrest on Facebook, but declined to comment until he spoke with her to get more information. If you'd like to comment on this post, please visit the cleveland.com crime and courts comments section. 
483 points by The Plain Dealer | United States Theft Cuyahoga County Ohio Crime Fairview Park Ohio Green Line North Olmsted Ohio Olmsted Township Cuyahoga County Ohio