Five years for gross sexual imposition


A Sardinia man sentenced to at least five years in prison for gross sexual imposition was among four people sentenced in Highland County Common Pleas Court.

Ronald Shepard, 68, was sentenced to at least 60 months in prison for one count of gross sexual imposition, a third-degree felony. Court records stated that Shepard must register as a Tier II registered sex offender, which required in-person verification every 180 days for a period of 25 years, with an expected residence on Kay Road in Sardinia.

According to court documents, during the summer starting in June 2021 and continuing after that, Shepard started touching a juvenile they were related to inappropriately. The juvenile was interviewed by the Mayerson Clinic at Children’s Hospital and reported that they were watching “Home Alone” with Shepard when he started “touching (their) buttocks.” The person said that they didn’t like the touching, but he then said that “it’s OK, it will be fun.” That touching then happened “over and under” the person’s clothing.

Following visits included the same and more serious sexual favors.

In other sentencings, both Tristen Nelson, 19, Hillsboro, and Jaden Florence, 22, Hillsboro, were sentenced to three years of community control on one count of theft, a fifth-degree felony, and one count of receiving stolen property, a first-degree misdemeanor.

For Nelson, court records stated that he must pay restitution through the Victim Restitution Escrow Account in monthly payments of $50 starting on July 1, 2023 and pay restitution of $650 to one of the victims alone and $380.57 alongside Florence through the Highland County Victim Witness Office.

For Florence, court records stated that she must pay restitution in monthly payments of $25 starting on Aug. 1, 2023. She must be evaluated by Scioto Paint Valley Mental Health Center (SPVMHC) and comply with the recommended treatment and pay restitution of $380.57 alongside Nelson.

According to court documents for both counts for both parties, on Dec. 27, 2022, the owner of an auction company reported the theft of a tractor to the Highland County Sheriff’s Office. They advised a detective that they were handling an auction at a farm on Short Road in Dodson Township and that a Massey Ferguson model 165 tractor inventoried from that property on Dec. 15, 2022, was missing. While two detectives were canvassing the area around the property, one of them received a call from the auction company owner who said they’d received information that the tractor was in the driveway of a residence on North Gath Road in Clay Township.

Multiple deputies from the sheriff’s office started to that location with Florence found walking in the area and “detained.” Nelson was also found outside of a neighboring home and detained. The two had both been recently arrested in connection with a different reported stolen tractor. During that investigation it was found that they lived together on a North Gath Road property.

One of the detectives interviewed both of them. Both admitted that Nelson drove Florence to the Short Road property where she climbed onto the tractor, with Nelson helping move it with his truck. The tractor was taken to North Gath Road. While law enforcement was on the scene, Florence granted permission for a search of the living area of their residence.

One of the detectives saw a small portable air compressor in the garage area. Nelson said it had been stolen by Florence. The detective contacted the victim of the air compressor crime, who said that they noticed it was missing on Christmas Eve. That victim said that they received a call from Nelson on Dec. 27, 2022, when he said that Florence had an air compressor that belonged to them. According to the victim, Nelson also said they thought Florence had stolen a tractor. On Dec. 28, 2022, the detective was told by Nelson, who was in jail at the time, that they wanted to speak to them.

After discussing the information Nelson had given the prior day, Nelson said he didn’t drive Florence to the Short Road property. The detective then confronted him with the information Nelson had provided the day before and the information from Florence. Nelson admitted that he’d lied and that he drove Florence to the Short Road property. Nelson said that he pulled the tractor off the property with his truck and down the road in the direction of the North Gath Road property.

Nelson said he’d abandoned the tractor along the roadway “because he became scared and realized he had done something wrong.” On Jan. 3, 2023, the auction company owner gave the detective a list of repair costs associated with damage done to the tractor. They also said that the tractor sold at the auction for $2,300, but that they believed it would have sold for “a considerable amount more” had it not been damaged when it was stolen.

Alisha Looney, 41, Greenfield, was sentenced to three years of community control on one count of theft, a fifth-degree felony.

Looney must pay restitution through the Victim Witness Escrow Account in monthly payments of $150 starting on Aug. 1. She must comply with SPVMHC recommended treatment and pay restitution of $4,213 to the Highland County Victim Witness Office.

According to court documents, on Dec. 20, 2022, a patrol officer was contacted by someone from Looney’s employer, with Looney’s responsibility being to service two vending kiosks at two locations in Greenfield. That person said Looney was also responsible for re-stocking the kiosks, removing the cash from them and then transporting that cash to a counting facility.

On Oct. 20, 2022, the original person was contacted by a branch manager at Chillicothe who said the two locations that Looney serviced were showing cash shortages. The original contact obtained the security footage from one of those locations as well as key card access information that showed Looney was accessing the kiosk “outside of her normal” working hours and removing cash from it.

The original contact then confronted Looney about the investigation on Oct. 25, 2022, at which time Looney admitted she took funds from the two locations for personal use.

Reach Jacob Clary at 937-402-2570.

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