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State of Ohio v. Donald P. Grimm

September 19, 2011

STATE OF OHIO, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
DONALD P. GRIMM, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



CRIMINAL APPEAL FROM COMMON PLEAS COURT

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Abele, J.

Cite as State v. Grimm,

DECISION AND JUDGMENT ENTRY

{¶1} This is an appeal from a Washington County Common Pleas Court judgment of conviction and sentence. Donald P. Grimm, defendant below and appellant herein, pled guilty to (1) two counts of rape in violation of R.C. 2907.02(A)(1); and (2) three counts of gross sexual imposition in violation of R.C. 2907.05(A)(4). Appellant assigns the following errors for review:

FIRST ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR:

"THE TRIAL COURT ERRED BY ACCEPTING DEFENDANT'S GUILTY PLEA AFTER MISINFORMING DEFENDANT A PRISON TERM WAS MANDATORY FOR COUNTS 2, 3, AND 5 OF THE BILL OF INFORMATION."

SECOND ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR:

"THE TRIAL COURT ERRED BY SENTENCING THE DEFENDANT CONTRARY TO LAW."

THIRD ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR:

"THE TRIAL COURT ABUSED ITS DISCRETION BY SENTENCING THE DEFENDANT TO THE MAXIMUM SENTENCE CONTRARY TO LAW AND IN VIOLATION OF THE OHIO CONSTITUTION AND THE EIGHTH AMENDMENT TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION."

FOURTH ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR:

"THE TRIAL COURT ERRED BY INDICATING APPELLANT WAS CONVICTED OF SEXUAL BATTERY."

{¶2} In August 2010, the Washington County Sheriff's office began to investigate allegations that appellant had engaged in sexual contact with two girls under the age of thirteen. Although he initially "denied that he had ever touched either of the girls," appellant later confessed to numerous sexual contacts with them.

{¶3} A Bill of Information was filed on August 26, 2010 and the matter came on for hearing approximately two weeks later. Appellant pled guilty to the aforementioned charges in exchange for dismissal of other pending cases. Appellant also answered affirmatively when the trial court asked, for purposes of the rape charges, if his fingers had ever penetrated the victims' vaginas. The court accepted the pleas, found appellant guilty and sentenced him to serve ten years in prison on each of the rape charges and five years on each of the gross sexual imposition counts, with all sentences to be served consecutively for an aggregate total of thirty-five years. This appeal followed.

I

{ΒΆ4} We proceed, out of order, to appellant's third assignment of error wherein he argues that the trial court abused its discretion by imposing what is "functionally a life sentence." He contends this constitutes cruel and unusual punishment, banned by both the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution as well as the Ohio Constitution. We, however, decline to address this portion of the ...


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