Jail for illegal liaisons

A Marietta man is headed to prison for 17 months for his liaisons with a 13-year-old girl.

Justin M. Klintworth, 20, of 114 Sunset Drive, is accused of having multiple sexual encounters with the girl. Those events have left the girl’s life is in shambles and caused severe distress to the family, said the victim’s mother in Washington County Common Pleas Court Tuesday.

The victim’s mother read a statement on behalf of her daughter that painted a picture of constant harassment from Klintworth’s family members and others in the community.

“Right after it happened, his cousin jumped me at school. I’ve been getting harassed and bullied. People at school and online tell me I should go die in a hole,” wrote the victim in her statement.

Washington County Common Pleas Court Judge Ed Lane commented that the statement was a chilling reflection on the community.

In fact, Klintworth’s family has been harassing the entire family, said the mother.

“Last week I was walking home from the store and his brother followed me home,” she said.

The family will be moving as a result of the nonstop harassment, she added.

“She feels like this is all her fault,” said the victim’s mother.

Klintworth pleaded guilty Nov. 27 to one count of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, a fourth-degree felony.

Preceding his sentencing, Klintworth stood and apologized for his actions.

“This isn’t (the victim’s) fault; this is all my fault,” he said.

Klintworth also apologized on behalf of his family members, none of whom were in court Tuesday.

“I tried to get them to stop when I got out of jail,” he said.

Klintworth had been incarcerated from his arrest on Sept. 18 until Nov. 30, said Washington County Prosecutor Jim Schneider.

The defendant’s attorney, Nancy Brum, asked for the court to consider the SEPTA program as a possible punishment.

“I believe that would be adequate punishment to address this situation,” she said.

However, Schneider recommended a prison sentence.

“I think we can make a case for prison based on the physical harm aspect,” he said.

Though Klintworth did not physically force the child to have sex, she experienced pain as a result of the unlawful sexual conduct, said Schneider.

Following the passage of Ohio House Bill 86, many fourth and fifth-degree felony convictions do not warrant a prison sentence. Exceptions are made for those who have prior felony records, who used a firearm in the course of their crime, who committed an act of violence, or who caused physical harm as a result of their crime.

“There was the aspect of physical harm, so the presumption for community control is overridden,” said Lane, handing down the 17-month prison sentence.

Klintworth will also be required to register as a Tier One sex offender with a child victim.

Brum requested that Lane read the defendant his rights regarding an appeal, but said after sentencing that she did not yet know if Klintworth would choose to appeal.