A convicted sex offender's brother is concerned his brother's rights were violated when he was interviewed.
The defendant's attorney said he isn't aware his client even had a brother while the case was pending. The public defender also said police reports don't indicate the defendant had his rights violated.
"John has the mental capacity of a 13-year-old. My mother is his legal guardian," said Lewis McBride, of Franklin, which is south of Dayton.
"She was not involved in any of this," McBride said. "This is against the law. He's not legally allowed to sign anything for himself."
The defendant, John L. McBride Jr., 29, of New Carlisle, was sentenced this month to 17 months in prison for attempted sexual battery. The sentence is for a July 16 incident at a Norwalk mobile home involving a 19-year-old mentally challenged woman; attorneys have said the victim has the mental capacity of an 8-year-old child.
Huron County Public Defender David Longo represented McBride.
"As far as I know, his rights were not violated when he was interviewed," Longo said.
The public defender was asked about McBride's mother, who was in the courtroom when her son was sentenced Dec. 4.
"I know she is his probate guardian. I'm not aware of that having any applicability to criminal cases," Longo said.
"As long as police don't violate Miranda rights, they can interview whoever they want to," he said. "Miranda only applies to coercion. I'm not aware of any."
McBride's older brother has a different perspective, saying Huron County sheriff's deputies "kept at" his brother until he admitted to having consensual sex with the woman.
"He was treated unfairly and his rights have been violated," the brother said.
Longo said McBride's brother never contacted him while the case was pending, but their mother "kept in touch throughout the case."
"As I said, I wasn't aware he had a brother," Longo added.
Threesome 'was her idea'
Detective Bill Duncan investigated the July 16 incident when McBride was in Norwalk visiting his girlfriend, now his fiancee. A sexual assault nurse examiner found evidence of trauma after she examined the victim at the Nord Center in Lorain County. Deputies collected evidence and sent it to the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation for processing.
"They were all friends," said McBride's brother, who doesn't know the victim. "John knows the victim through (his) fiancee.
"The victim was trying to get them all together. John's fiancee didn't want any part of it," the brother said about a possible threesome.
"The girl helped him through the window. They had consensual sex and she helped him back through the window," he said.
Attorneys didn't mention a threesome, but otherwise said the same thing in court Dec. 4.
"This was her idea," the brother said.
Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler declined to comment further on the case, except to say he was confident Longo would have filed a motion during the case if he noticed something was wrong.
Leffler, at the sentencing hearing, said McBride "took advantage" of knowing the victim was "very slow" and noted McBride is "kinda slow himself."
Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway declined to comment.
Mental illness, angry outbursts
Longo, who plans on appealing McBride's sentence, has said he thought "a 17-month prison term would destroy him." Longo also said his client has a "significant psychiatric history," is "mentally retarded" and has "a history of mental illness."
Soon after learning he was going to prison, McBride became quite agitated. He put his head on the desk in front of him. He told the judge he didn't care about what he had to say. This prompted Conway to tell McBride he didn't have to look at him, but he did have to listen to and respond to the rights he was reading to him.
McBride, during a recess and while being handcuffed after the Dec. 4 hearing, yelled loudly and became increasingly upset and agitated. He had several outbursts and called bystanders vulgar names.
"John's been in trouble for his outbursts with his mom," the defendant's brother said. "That's all he's ever been in trouble for."
When McBride gets angry, "he's mad at the world," his brother said. He recalled his brother calling him every vulgar name he could think of during earlier arguments and temper tantrums.
"Anybody looks his way, he's mad at them," Lewis McBride said.
His brother is now receiving MRDD services from Clark County. Before that, those services came from Montgomery County.
McBride said his brother has received such services since he was 5 years old.
"He doesn't know (the victim's) mental capacity. He didn't know he'd get in trouble for that," the brother said. "John doesn't have the mental capacity to understand the law when it comes to things like that.
"If they haul him off to prison, he will end up getting killed -- plain and simple," McBride said. "He doesn't know right from wrong."