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Man gets 72 years on rape, kidnap charges

A Springfield man convicted of 19 criminal counts for kidnapping, beating and raping his girlfriend last May was sentenced to 72 years in prison.

Robert Nesser, 40, could have faced more than 100 years behind bars, but some of his sentences were ordered to run concurrently by Clark County Common Pleas Court Judge Richard O’Neill. In January, a jury found Nesser guilty on four counts of rape, four counts of kidnapping, six counts of felonious assault, three counts of domestic violence and one count of robbery.

Nesser beat and sexually assaulted a 42-year-old woman he knows, hitting her three times over the head with a beer bottle before dragging her to a vacant house in the 900 block of Broadway Street. At the house, Nesser beat the woman with a leather belt, put her into a headlock until she passed out and raped her.

He later forced her to call her mother and ask for a money order, took the funds when she went to pick them up and then forced her to to the Executive Inn, where he continued to physically and sexually assault her. The incidents occurred between May 10 and 11 in Springfield, according to court records and police reports.

Clark County Assistant Prosecutor Amy Smith called it the worst case of domestic violence she’d seen.

“He choked her to the point where she lost consciousness several times. He then removed his belt and whipped her with it, both the leather and the metal belt buckle end,” she said. “(The victim) said she lost count at 25 times.”

After threats by Nesser that he would act out during sentencing, additional sheriff’s deputies were brought into the courtroom and surrounded him. The only outburst he made was after sentencing when the judge had already left the bench, making an explicit comment about him. He made no apologies before the sentencing, and his attorney, James Griffin, declined to comment.

If Nesser is ever released from prison, he will be required to register as a Tier III sex offender.

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