Sex offender released early from prison

Cary Ashby • Mar 27, 2013 at 9:04 AM

A convicted sex offender was released early from prison Monday.

John L. McBride Jr., 29, of New Carlisle, had been sentenced to 17 months in prison for attempted sexual battery.

The July 16 incident at a Norwalk mobile home involved a 19-year-old mentally challenged woman. Attorneys have said the victim has the mental capacity of an 8-year-old child while McBride is "mentally retarded" and has "a history of mental illness."

Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler said the victim's family is upset about McBride getting out of prison. He also said the family was equally unhappy about "being back to square one" had McBride's case gone to trial if the court withdrew his conviction.

"I called the victim's family. I talked to the mother," Leffler said.

"The state isn't thrilled with the idea of judicial release. We think Mr. McBride knew what he was doing when he crawled through the window and had relations with the victim," said Leffler, who made it clear there was no joint recommendation with McBride's attorney.

Huron County Public Defender David Longo had filed motions both for judicial release and post-conviction relief. He agreed to withdraw his motion about withdrawing McBride's guilty plea if the court granted his client early release.

McBride was in Norwalk visiting his fiancee July 16.

"I'm not coming back to this area if I don't have to," McBride told Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway.

Huron County Sheriff's Detective Bill Duncan investigated the case.

"It appears this was a consent case," said Longo, who alleged that McBride isn't the only person the victim had accused of sexually assaulting her.

Longo said it's difficult to consider the victim has a mental impairment and can't give consent for sex because she doesn't look like many mentally disabled people.

"Her condition is the result of brain trauma," he said, referring to a car accident.

Citing a police report about the case, Longo said the information would have made an impact about a plea in the case. It's unclear what that information was.

Longo, who received a tip about the report, said he obtained a copy after he put in a public records request.

McBride's older brother, Lewis, has said it was the victim's idea to have a threesome with his brother and his fiancee, but "John's fiancee didn't want any part of it."

"They were all friends," said McBride's brother, who doesn't know the victim. "The girl helped him through the window. They had consensual sex and she helped him back through the window."

McBride was booked into prison in mid-December. He served 98 days of local jail time before that.

Classified as a Tier III sex offender, McBride told the judge he wouldn't be committing any similar crimes. He will be on three years of intense probation and must register his address every three months for the rest of his life.

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