WARREN - The man who raped a 9-month-old relative during a supervised visit at the Trumbull County Children Services building, causing a flurry of investigations and litigation against the agency, will spend at least the next quarter century in prison.
Cody A. Beemer, 23, of Austin Avenue, pleaded guilty to original charges of rape, gross sexual imposition and four counts of pandering obscenity involving a minor Tuesday. The plea occurred in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court Judge Andrew Logan's courtroom.
Logan then sentenced Beemer to life in prison with the possibility of parole in 25 years on the rape charge. All other sentences will run along with the most stringent sentence.
Tribune Chronicle / Adam Ferrise
Cody Beemer, 23, was sentenced Tuesday to 25 years to life for raping a 9-month-old relative.
Beemer also pleaded guilty to molesting a different 18-month-old relative while he and his wife were babysitting at their home. Both incidents were recorded on a cellphone and found by an older relative, who turned the phone over to police. If released from prison, he must register every 90 days for the rest of his life with the sheriff's office where he lives and works.
"This is one of the most outrageous and despicable acts that has ever come before this court," Logan said. "We're talking about children of tender ages, newborns really abused in the most outrageous manner."
Beemer, in his jail-issued orange clothing with slicked-back hair and glasses, declined to say anything before his sentencing and as he was led from the courtroom in handcuffs. Beemer, who said he had a 10th-grade education, remained stoic throughout the hearing.
Assistant state public defender David Rouzzo said Beemer had showed him he was remorseful during meetings.
"He is remorseful," Rouzzo said. "He just wanted to get this over and done with and get on with the inevitable. Our choice was either go to trial and get life in prison or take the plea deal and get a possibility of parole."
No family members were in court.
After the state Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation examined Beemer's cellphone, they found 532 images of minors either involved in or watching a "montage of obscenity and bestiality," the indictment states.
The guilty plea came after a psychiatrist hired by defense attorneys found Beemer competent for prosecution.
"It was blatant, over the top," said assistant county prosecutor Diane Barber.
Beemer's wife, Felicia Banks Beemer, is facing similar charges and is scheduled to appear in court today.
CSB acknowledged they had relaxed the supervised visitation for the Beemers prior to the rape. At the time of the incident, caseworkers were checking in on the trio in "timed intervals" during the weekly two-hour-long visits.
Cody Beemer, who is accused of recording the one crime April 27, 2011, was classified as a sex offender when he was a juvenile, according to court records.
Court records showed CSB was aware of Cody Beemer's history, which includes sexually assaulting a 3-year-old girl as a teenager and abusing his current wife.
The girl, now 2 years old, was taken from her parents at birth.
The girl likely will be adopted by foster parents in northern Trumbull County, who according to records, have provided her with exceptional care despite the girl's ongoing health problems prompted in part because her mother smoked throughout her pregnancy. A hearing in Family Court on the girl's pending adoption also is scheduled for today.
Relatives have criticized CSB since another relative of the girl, Tiffany Sue Banks, was immediately taken into CSB custody after her birth in June 2007 and later killed by her foster mother, Bonnie Pattinson of Newton Falls. Pattinson was sentenced to nine years in prison.
The allegations also prompted two investigations, one into CSB's practices and policies surrounding supervised visitation and a criminal investigation being conducted by BCI to see if the agency was criminally negligent. In the wake of the investigations, CSB executive director Nick Kerosky resigned.
BCI still is investigating and several lawsuits against the agency filed after the rape was uncovered are still pending.
Special audits by Ohio Department of Job and Family Services found deficient record keeping in 21 cases they reviewed. In the girl's case, they found a supervisor back-dated 11 months of records and tried to file them from memory after the state began investigating. That worker, Robin Moon, was suspended without pay for 30 days.