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Man sentenced in sexual-assault case

May 26, 1999

A Hancock man, charged last June with sexually assaulting a teenage baby sitter, was sentenced to a year in jail Wednesday in Washington County Circuit Court.

Brian Ruppenthal, 26, of 24 Brent St., pleaded guilty to one count of third-degree sex offense, according to court records.

In exchange for the plea, charges of second-degree rape, fourth-degree sex offenses, second-degree assault and contributing to the condition of a minor were dismissed.

Judge Frederick C. Wright III imposed a four-year prison sentence but suspended all but one year. He ordered the time to be served in the Washington County Detention Center, court records said.

Probation was set at four years and Ruppenthal must register as a sex offender, according to Assistant Washington County State's Attorney Gina Cirincion, who prosecuted the case Wednesday.

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The victim, who was 14 at the time of the June 27, 1998, incident, told police it happened while she was baby-sitting in the Hancock area.

She told police she was sleeping on a couch when her clothing was removed and she was forced to have sexual intercourse despite repeated requests that the contact stop.

Feeling intimidated after the encounter, the victim waited 12 hours before reporting it, according to court records.

She then sought medical attention at Washington County Hospital. She was treated and later released, according to Hancock Police who investigated the incident.

Ruppenthal was charged after a week-long investigation, police said.

When confronted about the incident, Ruppenthal told police he had been drinking but denied that actual intercourse occurred.

- Marlo Barnhart

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