EATON — An imprisoned sex offender was granted judicial release in Preble County Common Pleas Court Tuesday, June 23. Judge Stephen R. Bruns presided.
Joshua C. Purcell, 31, of Hamilton, was ordered released after serving six months of an initial 18-month sentence. Purcell, who appeared via video teleconference, entered an Alford plea to charges of sexual imposition and tampering with evidence in December 2019. A subject entering an Alford plea concedes that sufficient evidence exists to convict them at trial, but does not actually admit wrongdoing.
A further charge of gross sexual imposition was dismissed at the time of Purcell’s plea.
According to court documents, the alleged victim in the case, then 13 years old, awoke to find Purcell touching her inappropriately both under and on top of her garments. The victim notified family members, prompting them to contact Eaton Police. Purcell is also alleged to have taken pictures of the victim with his cellular phone, though the files were reportedly deleted before they could be retrieved by law enforcement.
Though Purcell had a clean record at the time of his arrest, according to his attorney, he has since received a 180-day sentence for an undisclosed misdemeanor in Butler County, set to run concurrently with his sentence in Preble County. Purcell’s attorney indicated that the Butler County judge had agreed to “follow suit” with any decision reached by Judge Bruns.
Purcell spoke in his own defense before Judge Bruns announced his decision.
“I’ve never been in trouble before this,” Purcell said. Purcell also indicated that prison is “not a place where I want to spend any more time.”
Judge Bruns ordered Purcell released and sentenced him to three years of community control. Purcell will be placed on house arrest for two weeks following release in order to avoid potentially spreading the coronavirus, which is reportedly prevalent in Ohio’s prisons and jails. Purcell was also ordered to complete sex offender treatment at a facility in Hamilton, and to have no contact with his alleged victim or her family.
Also in court Tuesday:
Chadwick T. Davis, 39, of Somerville, was granted judicial release after serving eight months of an initial 12-month sentence on charges of receiving stolen property. Davis thanked Judge Bruns for taking the time to review his case before the decision was announced.
Davis was also sentenced to three years of community control, and will also be placed under house arrest for two weeks to avoid spreading COVID-19.
Jeffrey Powell, Jr., 26, of West Manchester, was scheduled for sentencing last week on charges of receiving stolen property, improperly handling a firearm in a motor vehicle, endangering children, and operating a vehicle while under the influence with three or more priors. Additional charges of criminal mischief and illegal use or possession of drug paraphernalia were dismissed.
Powell failed to appear for that earlier hearing, and a warrant was subsequently issued for his arrest. He now faces further charges of aggravated possession of drugs, possession of drug abuse instruments and drug paraphernalia, and driving under suspension. His next appearance is a continued sentencing hearing, to be held July 20.
Robert L. Clever Jr., 57, of Dayton, pleaded guilty to charges of violating a protection order. Clever claimed that the woman who initially filed the protection order had asked him to help care for her adult daughter while she was away for several days treating patients of COVID-19.
“I’m not trying to be disrespectful of the law, Your Honor, but I’ve known this girl for 10 years. I’m the only father figure she has,” Clever said.
The originator of the protection order agreed, and said she was in the process of trying to have it lifted.
“Since then he’s made a 360-degree change,” she said. “He’s a great man, and I hate to see him in trouble now.”
Judge Bruns placed Clever on community control for a period of three years. Though he declined to issue a no-contact order, he cautioned that the protection order would officially remain in force until lifted following a later hearing.
Reach Anthony Baker at 937-683-4057 or on Facebook @improperenglish