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State v. Vento

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District, Tuscarawas

May 7, 2018

STATE OF OHIO Plaintiff-Appellee
v.
RANDY VENTO Defendant-Appellant

          Appeal from the Court of Appeals, Case No. 2016 CR 06 0167

          For Plaintiff-Appellee RYAN STYER Prosecuting Attorney MICHAEL ERNEST Assistant Prosecuting Attorney.

          For Defendant-Appellant GEORGE URBAN

          JUDGES: Hon. W. Scott Gwin, P.J. Hon. Craig R. Baldwin, J. Hon. Earle E. Wise, Jr., J.

          OPINION

          WISE, EARLE, J.

         {¶ 1} Defendant-Appellant Randy Vento appeals the February 24, 2017 judgment of conviction and sentence of the Court of Common Pleas of Tuscarawas County, Ohio. Plaintiff-Appellee is the state of Ohio.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         {¶ 2} On June 2, 2016, Vento was seen by residents and law enforcement riding an orange bicycle, first in Dover, Ohio where he had contact with a Dover City police officer, and then in Mineral City, Ohio. In Mineral City, a resident found Vento lying on a picnic table in the city park. Later that afternoon, X.F, an 11 year-old Mineral City resident was walking home from a friend's house when he encountered Vento in the park near a wooded path.

         {¶ 3} Vento told X.F he was lost and asked for help. X.F refused. Vento stood up and started toward X.F and X.F ran. Vento caught X.F and dragged him into the woods. Vento removed his black hoodie and tied it around X.F's head so he could not see, removed X.F's clothing, and smashed his cell phone. Vento proceeded to rape and brutally beat X.F.

         {¶ 4} Meanwhile, X.F's mother had become concerned when X.F did not answer his phone and went looking for him with neighbors and other family members. X.F heard them calling for him, but each time he tried to call out, Vento shoved a stick in X.F's mouth to silence him. At some point Vento fled and X.F passed out.

         {¶ 5} Upon regaining consciousness, X.F crawled out of the woods. He was discovered by a neighbor naked, severely beaten and bloody, and with Vento's sweatshirt still tied around his neck. Asked who had done this to him, X.F stated a black man wearing a black hoodie and green pants had grabbed him off the street. A reverse 911 call was issued to the Mineral City Area asking residents to notify law enforcement if they saw a man matching the description given by X.F.

         {¶ 6} Within minutes of issuing the reverse 911 call, a resident returned the call and stated a man matching the description had run out of the woods near the village park, and ran into her car in his haste. When deputies responded to the location, they found Vento shirtless and wearing green pants. He was taken into custody.

         {¶ 7} Tuscarawas sheriff's deputies searched of the area where X.F was found. Near the trailhead, an orange bicycle was found along with several personal items including hospital records bearing Vento's name and date of birth. Further into the woods they discovered a tree that appeared to have blood on it as well as some clothing which appeared to be bloody.

         {¶ 8} X.F was transported by ambulance to Akron Children's hospital with life-threatening injuries. He underwent multiple surgeries and tests during a 6-day stay. X.F advised medical personnel that Vento had raped him and therefore a rape kit was also collected. X.F's injuries included multiple abrasions and contusions to his face and ...


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