Sex offender sentenced to 3 years in prison

Cary Ashby • Mar 28, 2018 at 9:00 PM

A Willard man convicted of a sex crime involving his 12-year-old neighbor was sentenced to three years in prison Wednesday.

Frank A. Burton, 56, formerly of 109 1/2 Moston St., also was classified as a Tier II sex offender. He must register with the sheriff’s office every 180 days for the next 25 years and is prohibited from living within 1,000 feet of a school or daycare center.

Burton, in February, pleaded guilty to gross sexual imposition, a third-degree felony. As part of a plea deal, prosecutors dismissed two counts of criminal child enticement, first-degree misdemeanors. Court records indicate the sex offense happened Oct. 9.

The victim’s father said Burton “started giving presents to my daughter.” He added it’s tough when parents are supposed to keep their children safe and sheltered, but then he had to answer certain questions about the case from his daughter. The father also said it bothers him that Burton lives nearby.

“These matters are always serious,” said Huron County Public Defender David Longo, who went on to briefly discuss Burton’s criminal history.

“In his younger days, he was somewhat wild,” added Longo, mentioning his client had eight years of “misdemeanor history.” 

Burton has some “serious mental health issues,” which Longo said made him concerned that his client would be competent to stand trial. The public defender added that a 2010 attempted aggravated arson case probably related to those same issues and Burton wasn’t receiving any mental-health treatment during the sex case.

Police arrested Burton in late November in the 300 block of Pearl Street in Willard. A Nov. 2 report indicates a Willard man told officers about “an incident that happened to his 12-year-old daughter a month ago.” Police arrested Burton on Nov. 28 after his sister called, requesting authorities check on the well-being of their mother.

Based on Burton’s lengthy criminal record, multiple prison sentences and that he was at a high risk to re-offend, Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway said the assistant Prosecutor Bambi Couch’s recommendation of 36 months in prison is appropriate. Burton, who will be on five years of mandatory post-release control, had 121 days of local jail-time applied to his sentence.

Burton, while speaking on his own behalf, only expressed concern about his elderly mother.

In other hearings: 

• Mark K. McKeehen, 61, of 79 Sandy Trail, Willard was sentenced Wednesday to 90 days in the Huron County Jail for possession of marijuana. The judge also imposed an additional 90 days of discretionary time, meaning McKeehen’s probation officer can have him serve part or all of the sentence without a hearing during his three years of probation. 

McKeehen also was fined $5,000 and ordered to forfeit undisclosed, seized property.

• Cory P. Young, 22, formerly of 5810 U.S. 20, Lot 45, Wakeman, was sentenced Wednesday to serve four to six months in a community-based corrections facility (CBCF) for an undisclosed probation violation. His underlying conviction is one count each of burglary and receiving stolen property (firearm). A CBCF is a form of prison which focuses on substance abuse treatment and education.

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