LISBON - Brian Curran, the Wintersville man convicted by a jury in Columbiana County Common Pleas Court this week of sexually molesting a 4-year-old girl, was sentenced by Judge Scott Washam to spend the next four and a half years in prison.
Curran, 44, indicated through his attorney he intends to appeal his conviction and sentence. He continued to maintain his innocence in his own statement to the court before sentencing.
"I'm sorry what happened to (the child) happened," Curran said, "but I'm the innocent one here. I didn't do it."
Assistant County Prosecutor Timothy McNicol had asked for a 60-month sentence, the maximum allowed under Ohio law for a third-degree felony gross sexual imposition conviction.
"Quite frankly, your honor, that is not enough," McNicol said of the toughest sentence he could request. McNicol called Curran's actions a "heinous offense" which happened against a young child, an "innocent victim."
The child's grandmother also spoke prior to sentencing, reminding the court her granddaughter's innocence was taken away by a man she had loved and trusted.
"She is no longer the little girl who was stolen from us," the grandmother told Washam. "It is my hope with counseling, a lot of support and prayer, she will be able to recover from this."
Curran was accused of committing the sexual abuse in 2012, but the 4-year-old girl reported what was happening to her grandmother, who eventually took the accusations to authorities. Now 6 years old, the child had testified utilizing video deposition to tell the jury in her own words what had happened.
McNicol told Washam he believed Curran had already violated his probation in another case, listing several previous convictions of misdemeanors such as theft and domestic violence. McNicol also noted Curran was possibly involved in drug use.
Curran's attorney, Jennifer Gorby, countered he has no felony convictions and no drug use convictions.
There were more family members in the courtroom in support of Curran than the three who attended each day of the jury trial both on Monday and Tuesday, but Gorby said they all declined to say anything prior to sentencing because Curran intends to appeal.
Besides the 54 months in prison, Washam will require Curran to be register as a Tier II sexual offender, with mandatory registration for 25 years. Additionally, he will have a lifetime weapons disability.