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State v. Perry

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga

May 3, 2018

STATE OF OHIO PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE
v.
RONALD L. PERRY DEFENDANT-APPELLANT

          Criminal Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Case No. CR-15-598751-A

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT Allison S.

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Michael C. O'Malley Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Ronni Ducoff Assistant County Prosecutor

          BEFORE: Kilbane, P.J., E.T. Gallagher, J., and Stewart, J.

          JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION

          MARY EILEEN KILBANE, PRESIDING JUDGE

         {¶1} Defendant-appellant, Ronald L. Perry ("Perry"), appeals from his sentence for kidnapping and gross sexual imposition. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm.

         {¶2} In August 2015, Lakewood police arrested Perry, after his friend's daughter, M.D., reported to the Lakewood Police Department that Perry had sexually abused her on multiple occasions when he spent the night at her family's home. She alleged that this sexual abuse occurred over a five-year period - from the time she was seven until she was twelve years old.

         {¶3} Perry was charged in a 23-count indictment as a result of these allegations. He was charged with five counts of rape; ten counts of kidnapping, each with a sexual motivation specification; and eight counts of gross sexual imposition ("GSI"). Pursuant to a plea agreement with the state of Ohio, Perry pled guilty to seven counts of kidnapping, each with a sexual motivation specification, and eight counts of GSI. As a condition of the plea agreement, Perry agreed that none of the counts to which he pled guilty were allied offenses of similar import and that there would be no merger for purposes of sentencing.

         {¶4} At Perry's plea hearing, the trial court advised him of his rights and informed him of the maximum sentence it could impose for each of the offenses to which he intended to plea. The court also advised Perry of his sex offender classification and registration requirements as well as postrelease control.

         {¶5} The state indicated that it would be satisfied with a maximum period of 40 years of imprisonment. Perry's defense counsel advised the trial court that Perry and the state had agreed to a 40-year maximum term of imprisonment as part of their plea negotiations in light of the possible 117-year consecutive, maximum sentence Perry faced for the kidnapping and GSI counts.[1] The trial court, in confirming its understanding of the plea agreement, asked:

THE COURT: But is this an agreed sentence by and between?
[DEFENSE COUNSEL]: No.
[STATE]: It's agreed by the State, by the defense that that is the cap; it's 40 years.
[DEFENSE COUNSEL]: It's just a cap. It's not an agreed sentence it's just when we were negotiating -
THE COURT: Well, see that's what I misunderstood because I understood that the State was saying that it was okay, the maximum of 40 years. But as we all know, as the sentencing judge I could go beyond 40 years. That's what I need to know; is this plea being made with the understanding that the - it's expected the Court will not exceed what the [state] said is okay?
[DEFENSE COUNSEL]: My understanding is that, yes, the maximum given on however you choose. You could choose to run them all concurrently. And we're not thinking even of that number, but if you were inclined to do more you are to go no more than that; that is the cap. Because in reaching this there is a lot of exposure to a lot of - many years that could effectively exceed that, so when we_
THE COURT: But see, I see that as an agreement whereby the Court is bound by a 40-year maximum penalty.
[STATE]: That is an agreement. I believe that that is what _
[DEFENSE COUNSEL]: Yes.

         The trial court further explained that it was not bound by the parties' agreement of a 40-year maximum sentence. Perry indicated that he understood the plea and made this plea knowingly, voluntarily, and intelligently. The trial court accepted his plea, ordered a ...


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