You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

breaking news

Robbery suspect accused of assaulting elderly man

Man gets max in child sex case

Defendant said he took plea to avoid life sentence.

A Clark County man made a tearful plea of innocence before his sentencing Friday despite pleading guilty earlier this month to charges that he sexually abused a child.

James Gibson was sobbing as he told Judge Douglas Rastatter he only pleaded guilty to two counts of gross sexual imposition as part of a deal with the Clark County Prosecutor’s Office to avoid a possible life sentence on a rape charge.

For a two-year period, Gibson sexually abused a girl whom he knows, investigators said. The girl was 7 years old when the assault started. The abuse was discovered after the child was examined at Dayton Children’s Hospital for an unrelated issue.

With his daughter, mother and sister in the audience to support him, Gibson said the case has ruined his family.

“I love them more than anything in the world. I would never hurt nobody,” he said. “I feel … humiliated.”

Knowing Gibson’s guilty plea was done to avoid life in prison, the victim’s mother asked the judge to consider “the life sentence he’s given (the victim).” She said the girl has struggled in school and contemplated suicide because of what happened.

Gibson’s attorney, Joseph Coates, asked the judge to consider probation since this was his client’s first criminal offense. However, Brian Driscoll, assistant Clark County prosecutor, argued Gibson deserved the maximum— 10 years through consecutive sentences— due to the seriousness of the crime.

“First time, we’re not talking jaywalking here. Obviously his first time was a major crime, a major impact on this victim,” Driscoll said.

Rastatter ordered the maximum sentence of 10 years, and will require Gibson to register as a Tier II sex offender once he gets out of prison.

Jessica Gibson, the defendant’s 21-year-old daughter, cried as her father was led away. She said she believes the victim was abused, but that authorities are sending the wrong man to prison.

“He was always a good dad,” she said. “I believe him and I love him, and I wish things had turned out differently for him because he’s going to miss out on 10 years and that makes me sad.”

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Community News

Botched Ohio Edison smokestack demo: 6 things to know 6 years later
Botched Ohio Edison smokestack demo: 6 things to know 6 years later
Welcome to the new
Welcome to the new
Clark County Municipal Court cases
Clark County Municipal Court cases
Police officer restores family’s Christmas after fire destroys home
Police officer restores family’s Christmas after fire destroys home
A police officer was recognized for his generosity after he helped a Kansas family get what they needed after a fire destroyed their home.
Mad River Mountain resumes snowmaking
Mad River Mountain resumes snowmaking
More Stories