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Child rapist seeks parole — again

Man faces Oct. 21 hearing before full board in Columbus

WARREN — A Trumbull County man convicted of child rape will face a hearing next month before the full board of the Ohio Adult Parole Authority to see whether he deserves freedom.

Trumbull County Prosecutor Dennis Watkins will be sending a representative to this hearing to try to prevent William Judson from going free.

The hearing is set for 1 p.m. Oct. 21 in Columbus. Watkins said he wants to prevent lightning from striking twice in Judson’s case.

On Aug. 20, Watkins was informed that the parole board probed a release for Judson. However, final judgment would be deferred while waiting for one of the victims in the case to request a full board hearing. That came on Aug. 26, when Assistant Prosecutor Diane Barber, Mary Jo Hoso, administrator of the county’s victim / witness program, and an investigator met with the victim, who later telephoned the parole board to ask for a full hearing.

Barber said she will be at the hearing next month.

When Judson was up for parole in 2009, Watkins said he failed to oppose Judson’s release formally, and the 54-year-old man was set free, only to be back in prison months later for theft in Hamilton County.

Now back in a cell at the North Central Correctional Institution in Marion, Judson is continuing to serve the 15- to 50-year sentence he was given in 1993 for raping two close relatives.

Since that 2009 parole, Watkins has written the parole board chairman nine times calling attention to Judson’s antisocial personality disorder that reinforces a strong likelihood of committing criminal acts.

Judson, who more than two decades ago lived in Champion, Fowler and Girard, was convicted in 1993 of two counts of rape and was given consecutive indefinite prison terms from 15 to 50 years. The crime was the repeated rape of a young child between the age of 5 and 9, but Watkins said there was additional evidence that he had raped another young girl who was related to him when she was 9 or 10.

One of the victims didn’t tell authorities about the attacks because Judson had threatened to kill her.

“At one point, he did take a gun and put it to her head,” Watkins said.

When Judson was released in 2009, he had lived in halfway houses in Cincinnati. On March 12, 2010, he was arrested for theft of a watch and gold cross at a Sears store in Cincinnati. Instead of returning to prison, he was given another chance by attending an anti-theft class at the University of Cincinnati. He then moved to Youngstown and battled depression, heavy drug use and suicidal thoughts. Judson was returned to prison in 2011 as a parole violator.

While back at prison, Judson has tested positive for marijuana, and Watkins noted in one 2012 infraction, prison authorities confiscated a large folder full of pornography from Judson’s bunk area.

“… because of Mr. Judson’s criminal history, prison record, character and lack of moral compass, he should not be paroled until 2042 — we don’t believe he should be around children,” Watkins wrote in a letter dated last Thursday to Trayce Thalheimer, parole board chairwoman.

Joe Medici, chief counsel with the Ohio Public Defenders office, said his office routinely represents inmates in parole board hearings, however, at this time he does not know who will be representing Judson in his Oct. 21 hearing.

“Therefore, I can’t comment one way or another,” Medici said.

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