EATON — A local man accused of intent to commit sexual assault has been scheduled for sentencing in Preble County Common Pleas Court. Judge Stephen R. Bruns presided.
Bradley Monebrake, 32, of Eaton, will be sentenced on two counts of violating a protection order on Thursday, Feb. 25. Judge Bruns will also reportedly issue a verdict that day on whether to acquit Monebrake on several additional charges.
According to a statement issued by Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost in May 2020, Monebrake was initially indicted on charges of attempted rape of a child under the age of 10 with sexually violent predator specification; attempted gross sexual imposition (GSI); possession of criminal tools; violation of a protection order; voyeurism; and obstructing official business.
Monebrake entered a guilty plea to the counts of violating a protection order on Jan. 28; those charges carry combined penalties of up to two years of incarceration and a potential $5,000 fine. A single count of obstructing official business was dismissed in accordance with a plea agreement between Monebrake and the Ohio A.G.’s Office.
Monebrake’s defense attorney, James Vanzant, submitted a motion for a judgment of acquittal on the rape and GSI charges Feb. 8, alleging that the State of Ohio had “failed to present evidence sufficient to convict [his client] of the charged offenses in this matter.” Monebrake stood trial on those charges Jan. 28.
Vanzant also argued that the voyeurism and possessing criminal tools charges “should be adjudged as not having been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.”
A written argument submitted to the court by Vanzant focuses largely on the meaning of the word “attempt” in the context of a criminal case, which he states is defined by Ohio law as taking action “constituting a substantial step in a course of conduct planned to culminate in the commission of a crime.”
“The state has failed to prove that Mr. Monebrake performed any act or engaged in any conduct which would satisfy the elements of either of the charges,” Vanzant further writes.
Trial testimony suggested that Monebrake “may have engaged in talking about the possibility of performing sexual acts” upon a child during in-person and text-message conversations with his wife on the night of Aug. 30, 2019, but according to Vanzant “it was only talk, and physical action was never taken or even attempted.”
Vanzant cites other cases in which defendants engaged in lengthy internet conversations with their intended victims, attempted to supply victims with alcohol, and even drove to a prearranged location in order to meet a victim in person.
“The State’s case is literally one of all talk and no action,” Vanzant writes.
Vanzant also casts suspicion on the testimony of Monebrake’s wife regarding the voyeurism charge.
If convicted on all counts, Monebrake would face potential penalties including life in prison and Tier-III sex offender registry. The latter would require Monebrake to register with the sheriff of any county in which he lives, works or attends school every 90 days for the remainder of his life.
Monebrake previously pleaded guilty to disseminating matter harmful to juveniles in Sept. 2014, an offense for which he was sentenced to three years of community control and 90 days of incarceration by former Preble County Common Pleas Court Judge David Abruzzo. Monebrake was given the option of performing 200 hours of community service in exchange for 60 of the 90 days being suspended.
Reach Anthony Baker at 937-683-4057 or on Facebook @mproperenglish