Belmont County Man Sentenced to 11 Years in Prison for Devastating Childhood Rape

BELMONT COUNTY, Ohio—A 70-year-old man from St. Clairsville, Ohio, was sentenced to 11 years in prison on Monday for the rape of a young girl throughout her entire childhood. Michael May had pleaded guilty to one count of rape back in January. The judge presiding over the case, Chris Berhalter, had some strong words for May during the sentencing hearing. While on the surface May appeared to be an active member of his church with no criminal record, Judge Berhalter described him as a monster who took advantage of a child’s trust for his own deviant pleasure.

The victim, whose written statement was read in court, expressed the physical and emotional pain that she endured over the course of 14 years. Judge Berhalter emphasized the devastating impact that May’s actions had on the victim’s life. The judge’s words reflected the gravity of the crime and the betrayal of trust that May had committed.

As a result of his conviction, May is now classified as a Tier 3 sex offender. Upon release from prison, he will be required to register as a sex offender every 90 days for the rest of his life. This classification is reserved for individuals who are deemed to pose the highest risk of reoffending.

This case highlights the long-lasting effects of sexual abuse and the importance of holding perpetrators accountable. It serves as a reminder of the need to protect and support survivors of sexual assault. The sentence imposed on May sends a message that such heinous crimes will not go unpunished.

May’s sentencing brings some closure to the victim, who endured years of abuse at the hands of someone she should have been able to trust. It is hoped that she will be able to find healing and begin the process of rebuilding her life. May’s punishment also serves as a deterrent to others who may contemplate similar acts of abuse.

In conclusion, the sentencing of Michael May for the rape of a young girl underscores the seriousness of sexual crimes and the impact they have on victims. The judge’s words during the hearing conveyed the abhorrence of May’s actions and the lasting harm he caused. This case serves as a reminder that the justice system will not tolerate such offenses and that survivors deserve support and justice.