MIAMI COUNTY — In Miami County Common Pleas Court, Braden Brelsford, 47, of Piqua, was sentenced for four years in prison for first-degree felony rape on Monday morning. The sentencing was a joint recommendation, which dropped two additional counts of first degree felony rape in the same case. As part of the plea agreement, Brelsford also waived his right to appeal.
The charge is in connection with allegations of rape that occurred more than two decades ago. The now-adult victim reported the allegations to Miami County Sheriff’s Office detectives, divulging that the alleged sexual assault occurred when the victim was under 10 years of age.
Jose Lopez, Brelsford’s lawyer, called his client’s actions “inexcusable” and asked the court to take the length of time between the original offense date and when the victim came forward into consideration.
“I don’t offer that as an excuse,” Lopez said. “It’s not an excuse.”
“I would just like to apologize to (the victim) and her family,” Brelsford said.
The victim also spoke during the sentencing hearing on Monday morning. She stated that many people have wondered why she waited so long to come forward. She explained that family members knew about the incident, including her mother, and had encouraged her to stay quiet for many years.
“I was told nothing would be done,” said the victim.
However, she said that staying quiet about the incident became “something I could no longer live with.”
The victim also stated that it “sickened” her that some of her family members knew about the incident and did nothing. The reported incident also had harmful ramifications in the victim’s family, she said, including putting a strain on her relationship with her mother.
“I have forgiven you,” the victim said to Brelsford. “I know there is a good person in you.”
Upon release from prison, Brelsford will be designated as a Tier III sex offender and have to register with the sheriff’s office every 90 days and ordered not to live within 1,000 feet of a school or day care facility for the rest of his life and complete five years of parole.
Breslford is also not eligible for judicial release and has a 23 day jail credit on his four-year sentence.
“Mr. Brelsford, you’re remanded to the custody of the sheriff,” said Miami County Common Pleas Court Judge Christopher Gee at the end of the sentencing.
Melanie Yingst contributed to this article. Reach reporter Sam Wildow at (937) 451-3336 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall.