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Victim speaks out at rapist's sentencing

TNS Regional News • Aug 8, 2014 at 3:07 PM

One of four women who were attacked by a serial rapist on the North Side called him “the epitome of evil” yesterday in a Franklin County courtroom.

Gary Naphier, 51, apologized to the woman before he was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

“She probably doesn’t want to accept my apology, but I truly am sorry,” said Naphier, who pleaded guilty last month to four counts of rape.

The 37-year-old woman was brutalized in a vacant house on Sept. 16, 2012, after Naphier approached her at the corner of Hudson Street and Peters Avenue and asked if she wanted to smoke crack, Columbus police said.

“I was abducted, beaten and raped,” the woman told Common Pleas Judge Laurel Beatty, calmly reading from a prepared statement. “There was no doubt in my mind that he was going to kill me."

She escaped by smashing through a window and running naked and bleeding down the street to find help.

During a rape that lasted more than an hour, she said, she looked into Naphier’s eyes and saw “ no remorse or regret, only satisfaction.”

She said she hoped that he could see her satisfaction with his prison sentence.

The woman told Beatty that she supports the sentence, which was recommended by Assistant Prosecutor Jennifer Hunt and defense attorney Karen Phipps as part of a plea agreement. The other victims did not attend the hearing.

Naphier, formerly of Fitzroy Place on the North Side, was credited with the 422 days he has spent in jail but is not eligible for early release from prison. Once he is out, he must register as a sex offender every 90 days for the rest of his life.

His other crimes:

• On April 13, 2011, he approached a woman walking home from a store to her apartment on Fitzroy Drive. He raped her after entering the apartment through a door she had left unlocked for her boyfriend.

• In the early hours of July 29, 2012, Naphier tricked a woman who was looking for her friends near her home on Kohr Place. He told her they were at his place, but he took her to a vacant house and raped her.

• On June 10, 2013, Naphier approached a woman as she walked from a convenience store to her home on Walford Street and asked about her son. After she arrived home, Naphier, who apparently had followed her, entered her apartment and raped her.

Police learned in May 2013 that DNA linked three rapes to the same man, but there was no match in a statewide database of convicted felons.

A cellphone was found at the scene of the first rape, and police traced it to Naphier. SWAT officers began following him and picked up a cigarette butt that he dropped.

Tests at the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification linked the DNA on the cigarette to DNA from the three rapes. Police arrested him just hours after the fourth rape was committed. DNA from that rape matched the other crimes.


By John Futty - The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio (MCT)

©2014 The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio)

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