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Newton Falls man gets 54 months in prison for fondling children

WARREN — A 25-year-old Newton Falls man received a 54-month prison sentence after he pleaded guilty to two counts of gross sexual imposition.

Benjamin Howell of 125 W. Quarry St., agreed to plead to a bill of information, a legal procedure that bypasses a grand jury indictment. He was accused of having inappropriate sexual touching with two underage females who are now 10 and 12 years old. The investigation was conducted by Newton Falls police. Trumbull County jail records show Howell has been in custody since July 30.

Trumbull County Assistant Prosecutor Gabriel Wildman said the victims are relatives of Howell and the allegations surfaced on a family vacation in North Carolina.

Before sentencing, Howell showed remorse saying, “I just want to pay for the things that I’ve done.”

His lawyer, Ronald Yarwood, said his client has been cooperating with authorities, taking the appropriate steps toward punishment and reconciliation with the victims.

“It is always a despciable crime whenever a child is involved,” Rice said. “You just don’t know the repercussions this will have in the future with their lives.”

Rice labeled Howell a Tier 2 sexual offender, which means after his release from prison Howell will be required to register his living and work address with the sheriff’s office every six months for 25 years.

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