‘He is scary and manipulative’: Women give emotional statements as Middletown man sentenced for sex with teen

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Caption
William Powell faces max of 60 months in prison after pleading guilty in Butler County Common Pleas Court on Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

A 71-year-old Middletown man was sentenced to five years in prison on Tuesday after admitting to sexual conduct with a teen.

During a lengthy, emotional sentencing hearing in Butler County Common Pleas Court, William Powell cried as he offered an apology, and the victim sobbed in the front row of the courtroom. Others, including three women who prosecutors say were also victims of Powell as minors, clutched tissues and hugged each other.

Powell, of the 1300 block of Oxford Sate Road, was indicted on three counts of rape, gross sexual imposition, two counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and contributing to the unruliness or delinquency of a minor in 2018. A day after a jury was selected last month and before evidence was presented, Powell pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, a third-degree felony. The remaining charges were dismissed.

The charge to which Powell pleaded guilty indicates he had sexual conduct with a minor between the ages of 13 and 15 in August 2010. The crime took place in Trenton and was investigated by police there.

Other accusers also came forward, according to police. But Assistant Butler County Prosecutor Kelly Heile said there was a statute of limitations issue, and the indicted charges involve just one victim.

However, the other alleged victims were in court Tuesday to speak.

A Middletown man received the maximum sentence of five years in prison Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020 after admitting to sexual conduct with a teen. William L. Powell, 71, earlier pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, a third-degree felony. Other charges that included three counts of rape, one count of gross sexual imposition, one count of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and one count of contributing to the unruliness or delinquency of a minor were dismissed. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
Caption
A Middletown man received the maximum sentence of five years in prison Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020 after admitting to sexual conduct with a teen. William L. Powell, 71, earlier pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, a third-degree felony. Other charges that included three counts of rape, one count of gross sexual imposition, one count of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and one count of contributing to the unruliness or delinquency of a minor were dismissed. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

The victim he was convicted of assaulting quickly read a statement standing just a few feet from the shackled Powell. Because of Powell’s sexual abuse, the woman says she now lacks self-esteem. She said she remembers seeing his “sinister face” as a child.

“He is scary and manipulative. He was creepy,” the victim said.

Heile said when Powell was confronted with his crimes against the woman, he threatened to kill her.

A second woman spoke about abuse she said she endured while a minor and a member of a softball team Powell coached. Powell was not convicted of crimes involving this victim.

“He has hurt me in ways I don’t fully understand,” the woman said. Mr. Powell the jig is up … I want him to suffer, I want him to go to prison.”

ExploreMORE: Police: More victims likely after Butler County man charged with rape

Another victim recounted abuse she said she endured as a teen when babysitting for the Powell family. He touched her inappropriately when she was a teen, and she never returned, she said. He was also not convicted of crimes involving that victim.

“It felt like he was wooing me,” she said. “It was creepy and gross.”

The woman said she made an excuse not to go back to the Powell house.

“The women in the courtroom today remember even after 30-plus years … we cannot let it go this time,’ she told the judge.

Defense attorney Michael Brush asked for Powell to be placed on community control. Bush said Powell, a veteran with no prior criminal history, suffers from PTSD and has mental health issues that will not effectively be addressed in the prison system. While out on bond, he was seeking treatment at a VA hospital for the mental health issues.

Powell, who has been in jail since his guilty plea, started crying as he apologized for his actions.

“I would like to apologize to them,” he said. “What I did was wrong, I know what I did was wrong and I know I have to pay the price. I’ve got remorse for it every day … I don’t know what to do other than apologize to my whole family.”

MORE: Middletown man admits sexual conduct with a teen

Judge Greg Stephens told Powell he would get no mercy from him.

“It is incomprehensible that a man in his 50s or 60s would even have a sexual attraction to a 13-year-old child. I will also say it is reprehensible that a man of that age range would actually act upon that attraction,” said Stephens, adding if Powell had been convicted at trial of all the charges he would have spent the rest of his life in prison.

“You have received a tremendous amount of mercy in this case already from both the victim and the state of Ohio in terms of the plea that was reached, from me you can expect no more mercy than what has already been given,” Stephens said.