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Grand jury indicts local resident accused of inappropriately touching disabled man

Cary Ashby • Sep 2, 2014 at 9:07 AM

A Huron County grand jury has indicted a local resident who is accused of inappropriately touching a disabled man.

John L. Gfell, 69, of 34 W. Willard Ave., is charged with one count each of sexual battery and gross sexual imposition, each in connection with a July 13 incident.

According to the indictment, the suspected victim had "sexual contact with John L. Gfell when the ability of the person to resist or consent is substantially impaired because of a mental or physical condition and that John L. Gfell knows or has reasonable cause to believe that the ability to resist or consent is substantially impaired because of a mental or physical condition."

The Huron County Sheriff's Office received a call about 9:30 p.m. July 13 regarding suspected inappropriate sexual contact at the St. Alphonsus Festival on Settlement Road. Chief Deputy Ted Patrick has said the caretaker of the 32-year-old victim confronted Gfell.

"The complainant advised an older male touched a younger male, who was mentally handicapped, in the restroom at the festival," Patrick said earlier.

Detective Rich Larson investigated the case. Patrick said the detective determined when the caretaker confronted Gfell, the suspect reportedly made some incriminating admissions.

"Larson then met with the victim and caretaker and obtained information through the interviews. ... Larson then interviewed the suspect who made additional admissions that he did, in fact, touch the victim in the restroom," the sheriff's spokesman said.

Gfell was arrested and transported to the Huron County Jail, where he later posted a $10,000 bond.

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