EATON — A Somerville man was sentenced in Preble County Common Pleas Court on Wednesday, Jan. 29, to 22 years in prison for raping two underage girls . Judge Stephen R. Bruns presided.
The Special Prosecutions section of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office prosecuted the case.
Devin M. Tutt, 20, was arrested by Preble County Sheriff’s Deputies in August 2019. He was indicted and pleaded guilty in September. According to a press statement issued by Sheriff Mike Simpson, Tutt sexually assaulted one victim, a 13-year-old girl, after corresponding with the victim online.
“The victim reports that she had been conversing with the suspect on social media and agreed to meet the suspect,” Simpson revealed in the press statement. “The victim states that she was then raped inside the suspect’s vehicle in a secluded location.”
A statement released by Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost last week said Tutt contacted the two juvenile victims through Snapchat, lying about his name and age. In April and August 2019, he met and raped each victim.
Tutt, a former football player at Preble Shawnee, previously pleaded guilty to charges of contributing to the delinquency of a child, a first-degree misdemeanor, in June 2019, after being arrested in February by Camden police. He received a 15-day jail sentence on that charge, which was suspended, as well as one year of probation.
Tutt was initially scheduled for sentencing on the rape charges in October 2019, but that hearing was continued pending completion of mental health and sex offender evaluations requested by the defendant.
Statements from each of Tutt’s alleged victims, as well as the mothers of both girls, were read aloud in court before the sentence was handed down.
“Nothing can prepare you for the call that someone has hurt your child,” the statement from one mother reads. “I don’t remember the drive home after; I just remember needing to get to my daughter.”
According to the statement, Tutt’s first victim, a 15-year-old girl, was forced to change schools after the assault due to bullying and harassment from her classmates, who said she “asked for it and deserved it.”
“I’m so proud of the way my daughter stood up,” the statement continues. “When I got the news that Devin had hurt another girl, it was like a punch in the stomach.”
A victim impact statement, meanwhile, highlighted the ways the first victim’s assault had affected her relationships with family and friends and changed her perceptions of other people.
“Since the incident, I have developed trust issues,” the victim’s statement reads. “I find it hard to believe that every individual doesn’t have ulterior motives.”
The victim also suffered socially as a result of the experience.
“Friends have pulled themselves out of my life. I don’t know how they even learned about what happened to me, but they clearly didn’t believe it,” her statement continues.
According to her statement, the mother of Tutt’s second victim used security cameras installed at her home to identify Tutt’s vehicle, then spotted the vehicle and gave chase after police in Butler County refused to respond to her calls for assistance.
“They said they couldn’t help because we didn’t live in the city limits,” her statement reads.
Finally, the statement of Tutt’s second victim highlighted the harm done by Tutt to herself and others.
“I want everyone to understand that even though I was the one who was hurt, I’m not the only one who was impacted,” her statement reads. “I check every room and lock every door for safety.”
All four statements asked that Tutt be given the maximum sentence in order to protect other young women from harm.
“If what he did to these girls isn’t enough to get the maximum sentence, the fact that he’s proven he won’t stop should be,” one statement reads.
Judge Bruns agreed, citing the results of the psychological evaluation requested by the defendant himself, which stated that Tutt showed little remorse for his actions and that the court should consider imposing a prison sentence for the protection of the public. A pre-sentencing investigation conducted by local authorities, meanwhile, indicated that Tutt “had issues while in school that related to his relationship with younger girls.”
The defendant asked the court for mercy, citing the effect on his own family and the desire to be a father to his 18-month-old son.
“There’s nothing I’ll ever regret more than hurting these girls,” Tutt said. “My mom raised me to be a good gentleman, and I let her down.”
Bruns sentenced Tutt to 11 years on each charge, to be served consecutively.
“This case is a tragic reminder that sexual predators aren’t hiding in the bushes – they are befriending children through social media, manipulating innocent minds, and gaining access to exploit innocence,” Yost said in a press release.