Ohio News Briefs

Prosecutor: DNA clears man imprisoned since ‘02 for rape

CLEVELAND (AP) — Prosecutors in Cleveland say newly tested DNA evidence appears to clear a man in prison since 2002 on rape and kidnapping charges.

Cleveland.com reports Cuyahoga County prosecutors have filed a motion saying it won’t oppose the Ohio Innocence Project’s efforts to vacate 41-year-old Christopher Miller’s conviction. A hearing is Thursday.

Miller received 40 years for a 2001 attack of a woman in Cleveland Heights. He was arrested after police found him with the woman’s cellphone. Miller said he exchanged drugs for the phone. The woman identified Miller as one of two attackers.

Updated testing found DNA from two men convicted of a similar rape and kidnapping but none from Miller.

The Innocence Project discovered police reports that Miller’s attorney never received noting inconsistencies in the woman’s identification of him.

Ohio Boy Scouts leader gets 8 years for sexually abusing boy

CLEVELAND (AP) — A former Ohio Boy Scouts leader who pleaded guilty to grooming and sexually abusing a troop member has received eight years in prison.

Cleveland.com reports 30-year-old Aaron Robertson apologized before sentencing Tuesday in Cleveland. He pleaded guilty last month to multiple counts of sexual battery and gross sexual imposition.

The boy was 13 when he reported the abuse in 2016. The teen was in the courtroom. He submitted a letter that said he and other scouts in the Olmsted Falls troop looked up to Robertson, a volunteer firefighter and auxiliary police officer. He wrote that small touches by Robertson led to the sexual abuse.

Robertson’s attorney argued for a shorter prison term saying the sex was consensual. Robertson must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

Ex-firefighter convicted of stealing union funds sentenced

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — The former treasurer of an Ohio firefighters union who was convicted of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars in union funds has been sentenced to two years in prison.

A judge in Akron on Monday also ordered 41-year-old Joseph Ruhlin to pay $385,000 in restitution to Akron Fire Fighters Local 330.

Investigators say Ruhlin stole the money from 2011 to 2017. He pleaded guilty in January to charges of theft in office and tampering with records.

Ruhlin was arrested in March 2017 in North Carolina after fleeing the Akron area when charges were filed.

Authorities say he spent the money on items including a down payment on an in-ground pool and tickets to sporting events.

Ruhlin had no comment at his sentencing. A message was left for his attorney Tuesday.

Naked man flees police, gets hit by a car

STOWE, Ohio (AP) — Police say a naked man led officers on a chase in Ohio and was struck by a car while trying to cross a highway.

Authorities say police first tried to stop the 23-year-old man around 5 a.m. Monday when he was seen driving his car the wrong way on Interstate 77.

The man drove off, and his car was stopped in Stowe when officers brought out spike strips.

Police say the man then ran from his car onto State Route 8, where he was struck by a passing minivan.

The man has been transported to the hospital with non life-threatening injuries. Ohio State Police say drug use is believed to be a factor in the chase.

FBI: Ex-sheriff extorted nearly $100K from dealers, others

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — The FBI says a former Ohio sheriff accused of taking nearly $100,000 in bribes from drug dealers and others while in office has been indicted on federal charges.

Authorities say 54-year-old Samuel Crish, of Delphos, was charged Monday in U.S. District Court in Toledo with bribery, extortion and making false statements.

Authorities say Crish extorted almost $100,000 from five people between 2012 and 2016 while he was Allen County sheriff. Investigators allege Crish provided special treatment in return for the money.

Crish resigned as sheriff in 2017 following an FBI raid on his Lima office the previous year.

FBI Special Agent Stephen Anthony said in a statement that Crish made the situation worse by lying to the bureau.

Crish’s attorney declined to comment because he hadn’t seen the indictment.

Astronomy park named for John Glenn set to open on solstice

LOGAN, Ohio (AP) — An astronomy park named for astronaut-hero John Glenn is about to open in his native Ohio.

The John Glenn Astronomy Park is located in Hocking Hills State Park in the southeastern part of the state. A grand opening ribbon-cutting is scheduled Thursday to coincide with the summer solstice.

Director Brad Hoehne will be joined at the event by astronaut Janet Kavandi, director of NASA Glenn Research Center; Julianne Burroughs, board president of Friends of Hocking Hills State Park; and “Astronaut Harrison,” a 6-year-old Columbus boy obsessed with space.

Activities will include sunset viewing, a sky diver and star and planet gazing through the park’s powerful telescopes.

John Glenn died in 2016 at age 95. He was the first American to orbit Earth and a longtime Democratic U.S. senator.