Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga
Criminal Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common
Pleas Case No. CR-16-611614-A
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT Gregory T. Stralka
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Michael C. O'Malley Cuyahoga
County Prosecutor By: Aqueelah A. Jordan Mary M. Frey
Assistant County Prosecutors
BEFORE: McCormack, P.J., Celebrezze, J., and Keough, J.
JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION
McCORMACK, PRESIDING JUDGE.
Defendant Matthew R. Strimpel appeals his conviction for
gross sexual imposition ("GSI"), felonious assault,
and domestic violence following a guilty plea. For the
reasons that follow, we affirm.
On November 29, 2016, Strimpel was charged with two counts of
rape in violation of R.C. 2907.02(A)(2), kidnapping in
violation of R.C. 2905.01(A)(4), and domestic violence in
violation of R.C. 2919.25(A). The charges stem from an
incident involving a woman with whom Strimpel had a
Strimpel later withdrew his previously entered not guilty
plea, and he pleaded guilty to GSI in violation of R.C.
2907.05(A)(1), amended Count 1; felonious assault in
violation of R.C. 2903.11(A), amended Count 3; and domestic
violence in violation of R.C. 2919.25(A), with a removal of
the furthermore clause of prior convictions. In exchange for
his guilty plea, the state agreed to nolle the rape charge in
Count 2. The court accepted Strimpel's plea and found him
guilty. The court then ordered a presentence investigation
report and a psychological evaluation, and it scheduled the
matter for sentencing.
At the sentencing hearing, the trial court imposed a prison
sentence of 16 months on the GSI, 6 years on the felonious
assault, and 17 months on the domestic violence. The court
ordered the sentences to be served concurrently.
On June 28, 2017, Strimpel filed a pro se motion to withdraw
his guilty plea. On August 16, 2017, prior to any ruling on
his motion by the trial court, the defendant filed a motion
for leave to file a delayed appeal with this court (along
with a notice of appeal), which we granted. This court then
appointed counsel to represent Strimpel on appeal.
On appeal, Strimpel raises two assignments of error for our
I. The trial court erred when it accepted the appellant's
guilty plea at a group hearing that did not permit the trial
court to determine the extent of the appellant's ability
to understand the consequences of his plea.
II. The trial court's failure to rule on the motion to
withdraw the guilty plea should cause a remand back to the
trial court on such issue.
In his first assignment of error, Strimpel challenges the
trial court's acceptance of his guilty plea, contending
that his purported "mental condition" prevented his
understanding of the plea proceedings, and the trial
court's utilization of a group plea hearing prevented the
trial court from having a "meaningful dialogue"
with Strimpel concerning his mental status. Strimpel argues
that the group plea hearing and the court's ordering a