Justice Served: An Ohio Inmate Sentenced 26 Years For Raping Female Jail Deputy

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An inmate charged for the March 2022 brutal rape of a jail deputy sentenced to 26 years, not long enough many say

Youngstown, OH: An Ohio inmate finally had justice served to him for the brutal rape and kidnapping of a jail employee that occurred over a year ago at the Mahoning County Jail.

The inmate, Rondell Harris, sat in a packed courtroom as he was issued his sentence after pleading guilty to the 2022 rape, but did not go quietly. Harris tried telling the presiding judge, Judge D’Apolito that he was no longer interested in the  plea bargain. He then proceeded to try to fire his lawyer in a desperate attempt to drag the case on.

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Judge D’Apolito gives the inmate some choice words. Image courtesy of WKBN27 YouTube channel.

Harris recklessly said in court, “I know what I did, I know what I didn’t do.”

But the justice system wasn’t having it and delivered the punishing 26 year sentence for kidnapping and rape. But many feel it wasn’t enough as he showed no sympathy in court.

The Victim Speaks Out

The victim, who remains nameless, took the stand to give her impact statement. She told the courtroom how much she suffered and continues to suffer to this day.

“I am haunted with feelings of worthlessness, uncontrollable images of the attack gripping my mind. Depression, grief, anger, hate,” the victim said.

A rape can have devastating effects on a person’s mental health, causing symptoms such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and flashbacks. Survivors may also experience feelings of shame, guilt, and self-blame, as well as difficulty trusting others or forming intimate relationships.

The victim continued to tell the courtroom that hasn’t worked since the incident and still deals with the PTSD to this day.

But a heartless and soul-less Harris sat idly by in his chair, dismissing the heart-braking testimony by muttering and rolling his eyes. He even went as far as to call her a liar.

“She’s just making a sob story,” Harris said.

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Inmate flips the bird in court. Image courtesy of WKBN YouTube channel.

Harris continued to disrupt the courtroom and would not stop talking, trying to control everything, as many rapists do. Judge D’Apolito ordered sheriff’s officers to remove the completely shackled Harris. Soon afterward he returned to the courtroom, brandishing his middle finger towards court reporters – no surprise there.

After Harris’ courtroom rants and obscenity-filled speeches, he finally accepted the plea deal he originally agreed to.

“I accept your pleas of guilty. I find that they were made knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily,” the judge said.

He continued, “You’ve damaged her but she’s stronger than that and she’ll come back, and you’ll be in prison for 26 years.”

Correctional Facilities – a PSA

The victim was working as a jail deputy in the medical unit when she was attacked by Harris. Although no specifics are provided on how such an attack could occur, it is a reminder to correctional staff to stay vigilant.

Becoming complacent as a prison guard can be dangerous because it may lead to a lack of attentiveness and vigilance. It could allow inmates to exploit weaknesses and potentially cause harm to themselves, other inmates, or the guards themselves.

Always remain vigilant and look out for your fellow officers at all times.

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