SIDNEY – The Sidney area man charged with multiple sex-related crimes involving a minor female under his care has been sentenced to nine years in prison for his crimes.
On Wednesday, Gary L. Bynum Sr., 65, received 4 ½ years in prison on each of two counts of sexual battery, both third-degree felonies, in Shelby County Common Pleas Court. The sentences will be served consecutively resulting in the nine-year term with the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.
He was declared a Tier III sex offender. He must register every 90 days with local authorities for the rest of his life. He was also fined $300 on each count and assessed court costs for both cases adjudicated.
Prior to being sentenced, Bynum expressed remorse for his actions. He stated regrets for traumatizing the 13-year-old victim and hoped to have the opportunity to “make it right” regarding the victim. He referred to the crimes as his biggest mistake in his life. He then asked to be placed on probation.
His attorney, Ryan Reed of Urbana, spoke of Bynum’s remorse, leading an otherwise law-abiding life, and stating a monitored probation plan would be appropriate.
The victim disagreed when she stepped to the podium to enter a victim statement. Several members of child protection and advocacy agencies were on hand to support the victim.
A letter written by the now 14-year-old victim was read aloud by Michelle Dickman, a counselor for Shelby County Victim Services.
In part, the victim stated she “went along” with sexual advances from Bynum because she “felt things would be better” if she did. The statement referred to continuing to have “trigger” events such as a sound or smell that causes her to recall the abuse.
She wrote that he would receive a maximum sentence stating, “I hope you get the time you deserve.”
The victim and a younger sister have been relocated with new foster parents. The foster mother addressed the court stating Bynum has created memories that the victim will never completely get over.
Prosecutor tells cold facts of abuse
Following the emotional testimonies, Shelby County Prosecutor Tim Sell brought forth cold facts about the case hoping Bynum would get the maximum sentence.
Sell said Bynum was in a position of trust in the girl’s life. Bynum and his wife took the girls in when their father died. He stated that for a year Bynum made sexual contact with her at least once a month.
Sell added, “What he did was not a mistake. We have a pattern of abuse here. It was terrible misconduct that overrides any good he has done.”
After the court session, Sell told the SDN the Bynums were in the final stages of a pending adoption application regarding the victim and her sister. Bynum also brandished a handgun and threatened the victim on the day he was arrested.
Judge James Stevenson said he read and listened to all the comments of support for Bynum and from the victim’s stance. He stated he was aggravated by the accounts of the case that originally included 13 felony counts.
Stevenson specifically mentioned Bynum’s action of intimidation by threatening a 13-year-old-girl by discharging a handgun into the floor outside her locked bedroom door.
Following the sentencing, Bynum was handcuffed and removed from the courtroom for transport to prison.
Plea agreement reached
On Aug. 13, Bynum pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual battery, both third-degree felonies, in a plea agreement with prosecutors during a final pretrial hearing. He faced a maximum of 10 years in prison and $20,000 in fines.
Prosecutors agreed to drop 10 sexual battery charges and one count of intimidation of a victim in a criminal case, all third-degree felonies, in exchange for his guilty plea.
The charges were related to accusations of Bynum having sexual relations with a minor teenage girl from June 1, 2017, through May 30. He also threatened the victim with physical harm if she caused charges to be filed, according to online court records.
Bynum was indicted on May 31, the day after Shelby County Sheriff’s deputies were called to his rural Sidney home at 9:03 p.m. on a report of a suicidal man.
According to an online report, Bynum made a suicide threat after his wife confronted him about the sexual relationship. Bynum brandished one of the two loaded handguns discharging one into the floor of the home. Bynum reportedly then pointed one of the weapons at his chest and made the suicidal comment.
His wife was able to exit the home safely with two minor children.
When deputies arrived, they learned that Bynum had been refusing to come out of his residence. Authorities spoke with Bynum on the phone for about 10 to 15 minutes before agreeing to meet face-to-face and talk in the garage. After a short discussion, Bynum was taken into custody without incident.
He was then transported to Wilson Heath for mental evaluation before being taken to the Shelby County Jail, where he was placed on suicide watch, and later released on bond.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.