SIDNEY — The Shelby County Common Pleas Court was emotional Tuesday as Gregory Vanausdal, 46, received 10-years-to-life in prison for one count of rape, and five years in prison for one count of pandering sexually oriented material involving a minor.
Vanausdal was indicted in February on the charges and entered a guilty plea with the court on the same day. The incident happened on or about Jan. 16, 2016. It involved his 12-year-old former stepdaughter. According to court documents, in the first count he is accused of engaging in sexual conduct with a female child less than 13-years-old. On the second count he is accused of recording and filming himself engaging in sexual conduct with the same child.
According to the petition to enter a guilty plea, he agreed on the condition that the state will not pursue additional charges related to pornography or other information collected on any computer or other electronic storage device owned by the defendant; however, this limitation on the state shall not apply to any criminal offense involving a person other than the victim in the case. It also said, the computer, camera, hard drives, and other electronic storage devices seized by the sheriff from the defendant will be forfeited.
In court Tuesday the prosecution and defense spent time making their cases for weather the two charges should be combined for sentencing purposes or if they should be treated as two separate offenses.
Shelby County Prosecutor Tim Sell said these two acts were separate and different; one charge does not require anything from the other. The rape was a physical act of aggression towards the victim and the video taping of the act was a way to reproduce it, as well as cause shame and embarrassment to the victim, he said.
Vanausdal’s Defense Attorney Aaron Lowe said these events happened simultaneously, to the same victim, so they should be treated as one event.
Judge James Stevenson agreed with the prosecution and said they should be sentenced separately.
Then there was the determination of whether the sentences should be served consecutively or concurrently. The judge said they should be served consecutively.
Sell gave an account of what the video tape showed, and explained that it was methodical and not an act of passion. He expressed the disturbing nature of the act and said that it was necessary to protect him from the public. Sell said during investigation by the police Vanausdal even tried to hide the hard drive from his computer.
A statement from the victim was read to the court, explaining how she only remembered parts of the incident, how it makes her feel now, and that she wished for him to be put in jail for a really long time.
Lowe said he believes Vanausdal is truly sorry and that there is a low risk of him doing this again upon release because he knew the victim. Lowe said that he has done a lot of good things for his family and has been a law abiding citizen. He expressed that any sentence would be a life sentence because of Vanausdal’s various health conditions.
Vanaudal said that he wished to convey his extreme regret for his actions and that we have very sorry for how he effected and ruined so many lives.
Stevenson expressed that he didn’t believe the health conditions were a legitimate thing to consider during sentencing and that he was not convinced of his remorse. He said that at some point in the investigation Vanausdal tried to defer blame to the child.
In addition to the 15-years to life Vanausdal will have to serve in prison, upon his release he will have to register as a tier three sexual offender for the rest of his life. He will also have to serve a mandatory five years of community control upon his release. He received no fine, but was ordered to pay cost of prosecution. He also received 55 days of credit for time he served in jail prior to sentencing.
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