Man convicted in DNA cold case sex assault set for sentencing today
By The Herald Staff | 3/11/2013
The sentencing of a 53-year-old former truck driver who was found guilty in October of sexually assaulting a teenage girl in Ottawa is scheduled for 2 p.m. today in Franklin County District Court.
In early February, District Judge Eric W. Godderz postponed the sentencing for Ralph E. Corey, most recently from Arizona, to give prosecutors more time to obtain documents related to two prior convictions on assault and sexual assault-related charges that Corey was alleged to have committed in 1983 and 1991 in Rhode Island.
Stephen A. Hunting, Franklin County attorney, told the judge Feb. 5 his office still had not received some of that documentation from the state of Rhode Island. Hunting said the March court date should give prosecutors and John A. Boyd, Corey’s defense attorney, adequate time to review the documents before the sentencing hearing.
Boyd indicated last week Rhode Island had furnished the necessary documents to proceed with the sentencing. A person’s criminal history can affect the severity of a sentence.
On Oct. 22, a jury convicted Corey of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old Walmart Supercenter cashier on the night of Feb. 19, 2000, as she prepared to leave the employee parking lot on the north side of the building at 2101 S. Princeton St., Ottawa. Corey was convicted of two counts of aggravated sexual assault, one count of aggravated kidnapping, one count of attempted rape and one count of making a criminal threat in connection with the incident.
The case had gone cold until DNA retrieved from the crime scene matched Corey’s DNA Nov. 8, 2010, in a national database system as he was about to be released from an Arizona penitentiary on counterfeiting charges. Corey was arrested by Ottawa police officers June 17, 2011, and transported to the Franklin County Adult Detention Center, 305 S. Main St., where he has remained for the past 21 months.