WARREN - Trumbull County's prosecutor calls James Rensel a ''traveling pedophile'' who is deserving of a civil commitment as a sexual predator if only Ohio law provided for it like other states do.
Prosecutor Dennis Watkins recently urged Ohio's Parole Board to keep the 54-year-old former Warren man behind bars for five more years and until he completes his whole seven-to-25-year prison sentence for rape and gross sexual imposition.
Rensel, currently at Southeastern Correctional Institution, comes up for parole in July.
Watkins and an assistant prosecutor on his staff opposed Rensel's release at a previous parole hearing in March of 1995.
Watkins called Rensel a traveling pedophile since he documented a conviction in California at age 23 in 1981 for assault with a deadly weapon and indecent exposure. After pleading guilty to the weapon charge, he was placed on 36 months probation and moved to McKean County in northwest Pennsylvania.
There, Rensel was convicted of indecent assault and corruption of a minor on a 5-year-old victim and sentenced to 11-to-23 months in prison and another five years probation with orders to see a psychological evaluation and treatment, according to a letter Watkins wrote to Parole Board members.
After the case in Pennsylvania, Rensel moved to Warren, where he was indicted for the sexual assault in 1993 of the 9-year-old girl.
The victim insisted she and another girl were repeatedly sexually assaulted by Rensel with Rensel denying any wrongdoing. During an interview with an investigator in the prosecutor's office, Rensel finally admitted during a videotaped session that he was medically examining the girl who was complaining of pain in her private area, Watson said.
Watkins - referring to Rensel as ''Dr. Pedophile'' - said he kept a straight face while telling the investigator and he was ''checking out and probing (the victim's) private area, looking for anything that might be wrong, and not being related to the victim and not being a medical doctor.''
Rensel flunked a subsequent polygraph examination, Watkins said, adding that he deserves to spend every day the law allows him behind bars.