Monday, August 16, 2010

from Michael Sangiacomo, The Plain Dealer

Please read - I'd love to hear your comments on the last paragraph. You can also link to the Plain Dealer's site here to read what others have to say ...

ELYRIA, Ohio -- A 16-year-old North Ridgeville boy was sentenced Thursday to five years probation for the stabbing death of the 55-year-old man he said was sexually abusing him.

Lorain County Common Pleas Judge James Burge sentenced Daniel Kovarbasich to the probation, which includes treatment in a program of the court's choosing.

Kovarbasich did not react when the sentence was announced.

Assistant Lorain County Prosecutor Tony Cillo had asked for the maximum 10-year sentence.
On April 29, Burge found Kovarbasich guilty of voluntary manslaughter and aggravated assault for the death of Duane Hurley, also of North Ridgeville.

Kovarbasich said during the trial that on Jan. 22, he hit Hurley on the head with a pickle jar, then stabbed him repeatedly.

In nervous, halting testimony, Kovarbasich told of two years of sexual relations with Hurley in exchange for money, clothes and other favors. He said he didn't tell anyone about it because he was "embarrassed and ashamed."

Cillo said Thursday that the court only had Kovarbasich's word that a sexual relationship existed. He added that even if it existed, Kovarbasich was clearly the one in charge, getting money from Hurley in a "quid pro quo" relationship.

Kovarbasich's attorney, Jack Bradley, told the judge there is no legal justification for an adult to have sex with a 15- and 16-year-old boy.

Marcy Utlak, spoke for the victim's family. She demanded jail for the boy who killed her uncle.
"Duane had bad arthritis and was 100 pounds overweight, which is why he had to pay people to cut his lawn. We only have Kovarbasich's word about the sexual relationship," she said.

She called Kovarbasich "a cold-blooded murderer."

After Utlak spoke and before announcing the sentence, the judge told the people in the courtroom that he knew Hurley.

"He was a nice guy. I was a fan of all the work he did with youth and sports in Avon Lake and other places . . . His sexual preference was for pubescent boys and there is no way in our society for him to express that preference . . . It was what he was born with . . . what he was stuck with," Burge said.

1 comment:

  1. While it doesn’t specifically state “judge,” Burge was an attorney prior to becoming one, which would make him a mandated reporter. Assuming he had some type of personal relationship with the deceased, his professional and moral obligation superseded any confidence if he suspected abuse. Right?