A two-year-old criminal case against a Columbus man accused of sexually assaulting a young girl came to an end Tuesday afternoon when he was sentenced to five years of community control for an abduction charge.
Timothy Durbin, 52, was scheduled to appear in Delaware County Common Pleas Court on Sept. 25 for his third jury trial in a case that began in 2015, but before the trial could begin he entered an Alford 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.
A sentencing hearing was held Tuesday afternoon and at that hearing Visiting Judge James A. Brogan, a retired judge from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, sentenced Durbin to five years of community control.
Brogan also ordered Durbin to pay $2,250 in financial sanctions and he was ordered to have no contact with the victim.
“The decision to accept the Alford Plea was a difficult one,” said First Assistant Prosecutor Kyle Rohrer. “It is my hope that the ruling today will help this victim and her family move on from this awful crime and ongoing legal process.”
Durbin stood trial in July 2016, but a jury could not return a verdict. 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.
“The young lady in this case has shown immense strength of character and courage,” Rohrer said. “While nothing we do in the criminal justice system can ever change what happened in the past, I hope that today is the start of a new chapter for her and her family.”
Contact Glenn Battishill at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.