GALLIPOLIS — A term of life in prison with the possibility of parole after serving the minimum of 10 years of imprisonment was handed down Thursday in Gallia County Common Pleas Court to a Gallipolis man accused of raping a young girl last year.
Geffrey Collins, 36, 618 Fifth Ave., Gallipolis, pleaded guilty to one count of rape, a first-degree felony, during a hearing last week before Judge D. Dean Evans.
Collins was arrested on a warrant on indictment Oct. 22 by officers with the Gallipolis Police Department after an indictment in this case was filed Oct. 10 with the Gallia County Clerk of Courts Office.
The indictment, filed following an investigation by the police department, specifies two counts of rape in which the defendant is alleged to have engaged in sexual conduct, between Sept. 9-25, 2013, with the victim only identified as “Jane Doe.” The victim is further identified as being less than 13 years of age at the time of the incident, with a date of birth in 2003.
In addition to the two counts of rape, the indictment also outlines of charge of drug possession in which the defendant was allegedly in the possession of less than one gram of heroin on Sept. 25.
During his arraignment hearing last October, Collins’ bond was set at $250,000, 10 percent, and he has remained jailed throughout court proceedings.
A proposed guilty plea was filed earlier this month with the clerk of courts office and, during Thursday afternoon’s hearing, Collins appeared along with his appointed counsel, defense attorney William Conley and pleaded guilty to one count of rape. He was subsequently sentenced to an indefinite term of 10 years to life is prison in the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.
It was further stipulated, as pursuant to the plea agreement, that Collins be classified as a Tier III sexual oriented offender.
He was given credit for 121 days served, along with future custody days awaiting transportation to a state prison facility. Collins was further ordered to have no contact with the person or property of “Jane Doe.”
Assistant Gallia County prosecuting attorneys Britt Wiseman and Eric Mulford said after sentencing that they were satisfied with the outcome.
“This case has always been about justice for that little girl whose youth and innocence were stolen from her at the hands of this defendant. This life sentence today represents the power and the strength of that young girl who refused to be silent, who sought help, and who will rise above,” Wiseman said.
Mulford expressed his gratitude to the prosecutor’s office, Gallia County Children’s Services, the Gallipolis Police Department and Capt. Jeff Boyer, the lead investigator in the case.
“Captain Boyer and the city police worked tirelessly on this investigation, and in also making sure that this little girl was protected every step of the way. That was always priority No. 1 for the Gallipolis Police Department,” Mulford said.
Wiseman further reiterated that the successful prosecution of cases such as this, involving minors and sexual motivation, require intensive investigation and cooperation amongst public agencies.
Following Thursday’s hearing, Collins was remanded to the custody of the Gallia County Sheriff’s Office and will later be transported to the appropriate prison facility.