Eaton man sentenced to 18 months for sexually abusing 76-year-old woman in his care

Credit: Preble County, Ohio

Credit: Preble County, Ohio

An Eaton man who sexually abused a disabled 76-year-old woman in his care will spend more than a year in prison.

Brandon Velez, 24, was sentenced Monday in Preble County Common Pleas Court to 18 months each on counts of gross sexual imposition and patient abuse, according to Preble County Common Pleas Court. His sentences will be served concurrently. He also was designated a Tier I sexual offender, which will require him to register annually for 15 years.

Credit: Preble County Jail

Credit: Preble County Jail

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Velez initially was indicted for two counts of gross sexual imposition and one count of patient abuse, according to court records. One count of gross sexual imposition was dismissed when he pleaded guilty earlier this month.

Eaton police responded in March to a care facility on Eaton Avenue after an Empowering People Inc. worker reportedly found an opened contraceptive wrapper in the patient’s room.

The worker had relieved Velez, who worked alone at the residence for an hour, according to a police report.

The woman, who was 76 at the time of the incident and is blind, nonverbal and has intellectual disabilities, was taken to the hospital for an examination.

Investigators collected the wrapper as well as other evidence for testing. DNA from Velez and the patient was on at least one item, according to the police report.

The prosecution recommended Velez be sentenced to 18 months per conviction, but for the sentences to be served at the same time, according to court records.

“One thing is clear: this defendant engaged in some form of sexual activity with this disabled, non-verbal and elderly victim, and he did so by abusing his trusted position of care within the residential facility,” the prosecution wrote in a sentencing memo. “This is the most depraved sort of conduct imaginable.”

Velez’s defense team recommended he be placed on five years of probation with 18 months in prison reserved for each charge, according to court documents.

“In this case, prison is unnecessary for the purpose of protecting the public from the defendant,” the defense wrote. “The loss of licensure and registration accomplish that goal. The punishment piece can be met without prison as well. In fact, it may be better met by requiring an extensive amount of community service.”

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