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Tuesday, February 05, 2013 10:39 AM

Sexual assault sentencing continued

By DOUG CARDER, Herald Senior Writer

The sentencing of a 53-year-old former truck driver most recently from Arizona who was found guilty in October of sexually assaulting a teenage girl in Ottawa has been postponed until 2 p.m. March 12. 

Franklin County District Judge Eric W. Godderz postponed the sentencing for Ralph E. Corey, which originally was scheduled for Tuesday morning, to give prosecutors more time to obtain documents related to two prior convictions on assault and sexual assault-related charges that Corey was alleged to have committed in 1983 and 1991 in Rhode Island. 

Stephen A. Hunting, Franklin County attorney, told the judge Tuesday morning that his office still had not received some of that documentation from the state of Rhode Island. Hunting said the March court date should give prosecutors and John A. Boyd, Corey’s defense attorney, adequate time to review the documents before the sentencing hearing.

A person’s criminal history can affect the severity of a sentence.

On Oct. 22, a jury convicted Corey of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old Walmart Supercenter cashier on the night of Feb. 19, 2000, as she prepared to leave the employee parking lot on the north side of the building at 2101 S. Princeton St., Ottawa. Corey was convicted of two counts of aggravated sexual assault, one count of aggravated kidnapping, one count of attempted rape and one count of making a criminal threat in connection with the incident.

The sexual assault case had gone cold until DNA collected at the crime scene was matched with Corey’s DNA in the national Combined DNA Index System [CODIS] of solved and unsolved cases Nov. 8, 2010, as Corey was about to be released from an Arizona penitentiary on counterfeiting charges. Corey was arrested June 17, 2011, by Ottawa police officers on a Franklin County warrant and transferred to the Franklin County Adult Detention Center, 305 S. Main St., Ottawa, where he has remained the past 19 months.

A jury in June convicted Corey on all five counts as well, but Judge Godderz declared a mistrial in July when he learned one of the jurors had used a smartphone to look up information about the case during deliberations.

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