Rings sentenced to 60 days; commissioners accept resignation

CHAD PLAUCHE-ADKINS Former Washington County Prosecutor Kevin Rings is lead out of court Thursday after being sentenced to 60 days in jail.

Former Washington County Prosecutor Kevin Rings, 56, sat emotionless as he was sentenced to 60 days in the Monroe County jail and to pay the costs of his incarceration by Judge Patricia Cosgrove in Washington County Common Pleas Court Thursday. Cosgrove is a retired Summit County Common Pleas Court Judge and was appointed as special judge for this case. Rings faced a possible 90 days in jail.

Cosgrove’s emotionally charged reasoning behind her sentence reverberated the importance of her decision.

“To give the defendant community service…would demean the seriousness of the offense,” she said. “Rings carefully cultivated this relationship with Amy Davis…this is about power.”

After a failed attempt to have the charges dropped, the defense asked Rings be held in Richland Alternative Center, a jail for misdemeanor offenders that the convicted pay for themselves. Cosgrove denied the motions before sentencing Rings to his jail term.

County commissioners accepted Rings’ letter of resignation Thursday morning. Rings was found guilty on April 12 of coercion but not guilty of sexual imposition, both misdemeanors. The Marietta attorney was charged with coercing Amy Davis, 33, of Belpre, a defendant in a drug case and a victim in a kidnapping and assault case, to have sexual contact with him. He also was accused of kissing and inappropriately touching Davis in his office on July 6, 2017.

In addition to the criminal case against Rings, after his conviction a civil case was filed by more than 20 local attorneys and Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks, asking that Rings be removed from office.

Rings has served in the county prosecutor’s office for more than 25 years, the first 22 as an assistant prosecutor. He was appointed as interim prosecutor in June 2015 when prosecutor Jim Schneider retired. Rings, running as a Republican, was elected for a four-year term in November 2016.

County commissioner David White said the commissioners appointed assistant prosecutor Nicole Coil as temporary interim prosecutor effective today. White said it will then be up to the Washington County Republican Party central committee to name an interim prosecuting attorney within 45 days of Rings’ resignation.

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