Court of Appeals of Ohio, Twelfth District, Clermont
CRIMINAL APPEAL FROM CLERMONT COUNTY COURT OF COMMON PLEAS
Case Nos. 2012CR0589 and 2012CR0590
Vincent Faris, Clermont County Prosecuting Attorney, Nick
Horton, for appellee
A. Katchmer, for appellant
1} Michael Tringelof appeals the decision of the
Clermont County Common Pleas Court, which classified him as a
sexual predator under Megan's Law. For the reasons
discussed below, this court affirms the decision.
2} In 2012, Clermont County grand jurors indicted
Tringelof on 34 counts, including charges of kidnapping,
abduction, and endangering children. Every kidnapping count
included a specification finding that Tringelof committed the
offense with a sexual motivation. The charges stemmed from
allegations that Tringelof lured eight children into the
basement of his home, bound or restrained them, and then
tortured them by poking them with sharp objects or shocking
them with battery-powered devices. The offenses occurred
between 1998 and 2005.
3} In 2012, as part of a negotiated plea agreement,
Tringelof pled guilty to eight of the kidnapping counts. The
court thereafter sentenced Tringelof to an agreed sentence of
20 years in prison. The court also classified Tringelof as a
Tier III sex offender.
4} Tringelof did not file a direct appeal. Four
years later, Tringelof moved the court to withdraw his guilty
pleas. The trial court denied the motion and Tringelof
appealed. This court affirmed the trial court's decision,
finding that Tringelof knowingly, intelligently, and
voluntarily entered his guilty pleas. State v.
Tringelof, 12th Dist. Clermont Nos. CA2017-03-015,
CA2017-03-016, 2017-Ohio-7657, ¶ 20.
5} While litigating Tringelofs motion to withdraw
his pleas, the parties and trial court became aware that the
court had erroneously classified Tringelof as a sex offender
under the Adam Walsh Act. Because all of the offenses were
committed prior to the effective date of the Adam Walsh Act,
the court should have classified Tringelof under the
applicable version of Megan's Law. The trial court
thereafter scheduled a sexual classification hearing in May
6} At the hearing, the contested issues were whether
the state had proven that Tringelof had a sexual motivation
for the kidnapping offenses and whether Tringelof was likely
to commit one or more "sexually oriented offenses"
in the future. See former R.C. 2950.01(E). The state
elicited testimony from the investigating detective, who
described the circumstances surrounding each child victim.
Tringelof sometimes lured the children into his home with
bribes of baseball cards or boating trips. Other children
came to the home expecting to play with Tringelof s children
but instead found themselves alone with Tringelof.
7} In each case, Tringelof would lead the child into
the basement and then restrain the child using various
implements, including zip ties, dog collars, or leather
straps. The children were forced to suffer various methods of
torture, including being poked in the feet with nails or
other sharp objects and shocked or electrocuted with wires
connected to battery-powered devices. None of the children
described any overt sexual acts by Tringelof during the
torture. Tringelof eventually released the children and some
reported that he warned them not to tell anyone.
8} Over Tringelofs objection, the detective
testified concerning an additional alleged victim. This
victim contacted police in 2012 to report that Tringelof had
tortured and sexually assaulted him in 1986. The victim, who
was approximately 11 years old in 1986, reported that
Tringelof had lured him inside Tringelof s residence with the
promise of playing a video game system. After playing video
games for some time, Tringelof tied the victim to a chair,
blindfolded him, and then began shocking him with a homemade
battery-powered device. After shocking the victim, Tringelof
placed his penis on various parts of the victim's body,
including the legs, shoulder, and face. Tringelof released
the victim but threatened to kill him and his family if he
9} On a second occasion, about a week later,
Tringelof approached the victim as the victim got off a
school bus. Tringelof invited the victim into his home and
the victim stated he felt he had to accept, or his family
would be harmed. They played Legos until Tringelof again
restrained the victim and began to beat him with a paddle.
Tringelof then removed the victim's pants and placed
"wax paper" on the victim's buttocks. Tringelof
placed his penis on the paper and began rubbing until he
ejaculated. Tringelof would have been approximately 18 years
old at the time of these incidents. The state never pursued
charges with respect to the 1986 victim and the record
indicates this may partially have been the result of concerns
over the statute of limitations.
10} After speaking with the 1986 victim, police
checked Tringelofs police record and noted that a
ten-year-old child had reported being restrained and tortured
in Tringelofs basement in 2005. That case was closed ...