A Columbus man was sentenced to 54 months in prison after being found guilty of two counts of sexual battery after a trial in Delaware County Common Pleas Court.

Brandon Michael Ward, 30, appeared in Delaware County Common Pleas Court Monday morning to be sentenced on two counts of sexual battery, third-degree felonies and one count of theft, a first-degree misdemeanor.

Ward stood trial in October and faced two counts of rape, first-degree felony and two counts of sexual battery. The jury returned a guilty verdict for the two sexual battery charges but found Ward not-guilty of the two rape charges.

Before the trial, Ward entered a guilty plea to the theft charge.

At the sentencing hearing on Monday, Delaware County Common Pleas Judge Everett Krueger sentenced Ward to 54-months in prison for the sexual battery charges and 180 days in jail for the theft charge.

At Ward’s arraignment, Assistant Delaware County Prosecutor Mark Sleeper said that on June 24 Ward had been invited to watch a movie at the dorm room of a 21-year-old Ohio Wesleyan University student. Sleeper said that during the movie, the student fell asleep and later woke up while Ward was having sex with her.

The victim reportedly told Ward to leave and then went to Grady Memorial Hospital and asked for a rape examination. Police were contacted by hospital staff.

When the student returned to her dorm room, she realized that Ward had also stolen $609 from her room after the assault, police said. Police added that the victim and Ward were not romantically involved.

Ward was in the Delaware County Jail Thursday awaiting transport to prison.

He was originally indicted by a grand jury on July 29 on a charge of rape, a charge of sexual battery and a charge of theft. An Aug. 5 indictment includes an additional rape charge and an additional sexual battery charge. The indictment indicates the new offenses are part of the same incident.

The July 29 case was dismissed after Ward was indicted on Aug. 5 because the more recent indictment is more complete, prosecutors said at the time.


By Glenn Battishill

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Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.