By Stacy Kess
A Blacklick man was sentenced Friday life in prison plus 10 years for of the rape of an 11-year-old girl committed in the late 1990s.
Gary D. Klusty, 48, was found guilty June 6 of two counts of rape and five counts of gross sexual imposition. He will be eligible for parole in 20 years.
Judge Everett Krueger said Klusty shows a likelihood for recidivism and shows no remorse for his crime, making a maximum sentence of life necessary.
Assistant Prosecutor Brian Walter said the crime was a heinous act and that “no punishment this court could hand down that would be adequate” to give justice to the victim.
Kate White Young, who was Klusty’s victim, spoke publicly in court Friday, along with her parents Bill and Ellie White and her sister Emma. The county prosecutor’s office said White Young volunteered to be identified publicly.
“I appreciate that I might speak freely today about what happened to me when I was 11 and 12,” White Young said.
In 1998 and 1999, she and her family met Klusty as the boyfriend of a family friend; it was during this time period that Klusty raped White Young.
She said although the sentencing is for the crime of rape, Klusty “murdered” her spirit and innocence.
Ellie and Emma White described the effect Klusty’s crime had on White Young: suicide attempts and diagnoses of post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression. Ellie White said the time between the rapes and the trial was hard on her daughter and family.
“It has taken 12 years and courage — lots and lots of courage,” she said. “(Kate’s) only wish in pursuing Gary Klusty was that he would never hurt anyone the way her hurt her.”
Klusty was indicted Aug. 23, 2013, on three counts of rape, all first-degree felonies, and five counts of gross sexual imposition, all third-degree felonies. He said he faced grand juries twice before for these crimes, and neither case was pursued. He said that showed he was innocent.
He also said that he was not allowed to present evidence during the trial and that he plans to appeal the case.
“True justice was not being served here,” he said. “I was stifled, muzzled like a rabid dog. … This is far from over. And until I’m released or until I take my last breath, I will never rest.”
Klusty will also be registered as a Tier III sex offender, and will be under face post-release control if granted parole.
Reporter Stacy Kess can be found on Twitter @StacyMKess.