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Judge lowers bond for man charged with raping girl, 7

June 12, 2000|By JULIE E. GREENE

SHARPSBURG - Washington County District Judge Ralph France lowered the bond Monday afternoon for a man charged with raping a 7-year-old girl at his mother's home day-care center.

France did not give a reason for lowering Jeffery Donald Otzelberger's bond from $200,000 to $150,000. The judge ordered Otzelberger to undergo a psychiatric evaluation and to have no contact with the girl.

Defense attorney Wiley Rutledge argued that Otzelberger's bond should be lowered because he is mentally retarded and there are no incidents of violence on his record other than the rape allegations.

Otzelberger, 28, of 3704 Harpers Ferry Road, appeared before France for a bond review via a two-way video from the Washington County Detention Center. Sitting in tan coveralls, Otzelberger told France he had nothing to add to his attorney's statements.

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Since Otzelberger can't read or write and is being kept in protective custody so he can't interact with other inmates the only thing he can do is stare at the wall, Rutledge said.

If Otzelberger's bond were lowered, he could go home to live with his parents, who were in court with Otzelberger's sister, Rutledge said.

"These are very responsible people," Rutledge told the court. Otzelberger's father works at a local prison complex and his mother ran the day care, he said.

The state has revoked Pat Otzelberger's day-care license so there are no longer any children in the home, Rutledge said.

Washington County Assistant State's Attorney Arthur Rozes said Otzelberger could be a danger to himself or the victim.

Otzelberger was charged with two counts each of second-degree rape, second-degree assault, child abuse: custodian, and contributing to the condition of a child, according to court documents.

The girl was playing outside last Thursday and entered the home to use the bathroom when a man forced himself on her, court records allege.

Otzelberger confessed to police Friday that he has had vaginal intercourse with the child "more than one time," according to allegations contained in court documents.

The child told police Thursday night she twice told Otzelberger "no" when he allegedly told her to pull down her pants after he grabbed her arm and forced her to the floor, court records contend.

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