Man sent to prison for grabbing, assaulting Hamilton girl as she took out trash

A Hamilton was sentenced to prison Monday for grabbing a 6-year-old girl as she took the trash to the curb outside her family’s home in the summer of 2022.

Deric Nicholas McPherson, 34, pleaded guilty in Butler County Common Pleas Court in August to kidnapping and gross sexual imposition a week before his trial was scheduled to begin.

McPherson was arrested in late August 2022 and indicted by a Butler County grand jury for kidnapping, abduction and gross sexual imposition and unlawful restraint. In exchange for the guilty plea, the two other charges were dismissed.

On Monday, Judge Michael Oster Jr. sentenced McPherson to an indefinite sentence of 11 to 15 years in prison. He was declared a Tier II sexually oriented offender, requiring him to register his residence every 180 days for 25 years when released from incarceration. He was also designated a repeat violent offender, which added to the sentence.

After his indictment, McPherson’s defense attorney questioned competency to stand trial and filed a not guilty by reason of insanity plea, but after reviewing three forensic psychological evaluations, the judge ruled McPherson competent and not eligible for the NGRI plea.

A question of competency for trial means the defendant does not understand the court proceedings and is unable to assist in his own defense.

An insanity plea means the defendant at the time of the offense did not know, as a result of a severe mental disease or defect, the wrongfulness of their actions.

On Aug. 23, 2022, the girl escaped by screaming and running, which was captured by the family’s doorbell camera.

According to the Hamilton police report, McPherson was walking past the girl on East Avenue when he bent down and grabbed her buttocks. The girl attempted to move away and he then grabbed her wrist “alongside the sidewalk.”

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