Columbus man enters Alford Plea to abduction before second trial begins


A Columbus man who was scheduled to stand trial for rape and abduction Monday instead entered an Alford Plea and will be sentenced in November.

Timothy Durbin, 52, was scheduled to appear in Delaware County Common Pleas Court to face his third jury trial in a case that began in 2015, but before the trial could begin he entered the plea to one charge of abduction, a third-degree felony.

Prosecutors report that in an Alford Plea, the defendant maintains his innocence, but acknowledges the evidence is strong enough that he would likely be found guilty if the case went to trial.

Prosecutors alleged that between July 1, 2003 and July 31, 2004, Durbin sexually assaulted a young girl in Westerville.

He was originally indicted in April 2015 and charged with four counts of rape, two counts of gross sexual imposition, and one charge of kidnapping. After entering an Alford Plea to the abduction charge, the remaining charges were dismissed.

This would have been Durbin’s second trial in regard to these charges after a jury could not return a verdict following proceedings in July 2016. During the trial in 2016, prosecutors told jurors that the victim was five years old when she was abused by Durbin and said the girl has suffered from psychological issues since the abuse occurred.

“Today’s plea brings closure for the family,” said First Assistant Prosecutor Kyle Rohrer. “The family did not wish to go through another trial and understands an Alford plea ensures accountability from the court.”

According to the Ohio Revised Code, the prison term for a third-degree felony is between nine and 36 months in prison.

“Today’s Alford plea is a compromise,” Rohrer said. “While the defendant will not face the maximum penalties he might have gotten if he’d gone to trial, there is a certainty of punishment through the justice system. In addition, abduction is a felony of violence, and as such, can never be sealed.”

A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 14 at 3 p.m. Durbin was out on bond Monday.

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Durbin
https://www.delgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2017/09/web1_Durbin.jpgDurbin Courtesy photo | Delaware County Jail

By Glenn Battishill

gbattishill@delgazette.com

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