July 23, 2016

Mostly clear

Local man faces multiple child rape charges

MEDINA — A 79-year-old Medina Township man who is accused of molesting two children almost two decades ago was indicted by a Medina County grand jury Wednesday.

Robert D. Law, a notary who lives at 4898 Century Oak Circle, is scheduled to be arraigned Monday on a count of aggravated rape of a child under age 13, two counts of rape of a child under age 13, one count of complicity to rape a child under age 13 and one count of gross sexual imposition.

If Law is convicted, he could face up to life in prison.

The three rape charges and complicity charge list a child, who is now 23, as the victim. The imposition charge listed another victim, who is now 27 years old.

According to the indictment, the imposition charge stems from the summer of 1989 when the child was 3 or 4 years old.

The aggravated rape allegedly occurred in the summer of 1994 when that child was 4 or 5 years old, followed by the two rape charges in the summers of 1996 and 1997, when the child was between 6 and 8 years old, according to the indictment.

The complicity to commit rape count, the indictment said, stems from an alleged incident in the summer of 1997 and accuses Law of aiding another person in sexually assaulting the child.

“The accomplice is an unknown person,” county Prosecutor Dean Holman said Friday.

Sheriff’s Detective Lt. Travis Colonius said if there are any other victims, they are encouraged to come forward.

“We’re not sure if there are more, but we want this out there just in case there are,” Colonius said.

Law was arrested March 27 after a four-month joint investigation between the county sheriff’s detective bureau and the FBI’s Akron branch. He is being held at the county jail on $1 million bond.

The FBI only investigates federal crimes. According to U.S. law, rape becomes a federal crime when a person crosses state lines with the intent to commit the crime.

Colonius said that was the case, but declined to elaborate.

He said one of the victims went to the FBI, which contacted sheriff’s Detective Samo Mernik, who serves on a joint-FBI task force dealing with child exploitation cases.

Three others also were indicted Wednesday:

• Ryan D. Crews, 19, Oberlin, charged with failure to comply with the orders of a police officer, a third-degree felony. Crews has been in common pleas court before: He pleaded guilty in November to breaking and entering, a fifth-degree felony, and was sentenced to five years of probation. He has no record in Lorain County. Crews is scheduled to be arraigned Monday in Common Pleas Judge Christopher J. Collier’s courtroom.

• Adam R. Knight, 22, Wellington, charged with domestic violence, a fourth-degree felony, because he had prior violations. Knight has a case pending in common pleas court in which he’s charged with two counts of receiving stolen checks, fifth-degree felonies. Knight also has a pending case in Lorain County that charges him with drug abuse and possessing drug paraphernalia. Knight is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday before Common Pleas Judge James L. Kimbler.

• Ashley T. Davis, 27, Cleveland, had forfeiture specifications added to three charges of aggravated drug trafficking, fourth-degree felonies. Davis has no previous record in Medina County but has a pending case in Cuyahoga County. In that case, Davis is charged with two counts of drug trafficking, drug possession and possessing criminal tools. Davis is scheduled to be arraigned Monday before Collier.

A grand jury meets every other week. The next session is April 24.

Contact reporter Nick Glunt at (330) 721-4048 or nglunt@medina-gazette.com.

Nick Glunt About Nick Glunt

Nick Glunt primarily covers courts and crime in Medina County. He served The Gazette from September 2012 to December 2015. Contact him at (330) 721-4048 or via email at nglunt@medina-gazette.com.