Child rape hearings are rescheduled

ST. CLAIRSVILLE Common Pleas Court Judge Jennifer Sargus saw several criminal cases Monday.

Richard Thomas Rushton, 62, 329 High Street, Flushing, saw his pre-trial moved to March 12 to allow attorneys to further examine the evidence. He faces two counts of rape of a child younger than 10, felonies of the first degree occurring 1999.

A conviction on either count carries a possibility of life imprisonment. He also faces two counts of sexual battery and one count of gross sexual imposition.

Rushton’s bond stands at $1 million. He is currently being held at the Belmont County Jail.

Charges were filed in Belmont County Court November of 2010. Rushton was indicted in. It has been almost a year since he was found in Italy after failing to keep his court date. The prosecutor’s office has since worked with the Italian legal system to extradite him.

Rushton had worked as a professor at Bethany College – specifically as an assistant professor of education and chairman of the Department of Education.

He was also director of Teacher Preparation Programs and faculty adviser for Big Brothers Big Sisters. He had been a teacher for 20 years.

Ryan Joseph Seckman, 55493 Washington St., Somerton, was arraigned on a count of processing illegal drug documents, a felony of the fourth degree occurring November of 2010. He pleaded not guilty and his recognizance bond was continued. His pre-trial was set for March 26, with plea agreement deadline May 7 and trial May 15.

Curtis Shybal, 10 Ross St., Bridgeport, saw the termination of his time at EOCC after 80 days when struck another resident. He will serve 208 days in Belmont County Jail for illegal processing of drug documents, a felony of the fourth degree occurring October of 2010.

Erika Diane Duncan, 26, 2152 1/2 Guernsey St., Bellaire, pleaded guilty to possession of drugs, a felony of the fifth degree occurring June 17. A post sentencing investigation was ordered sentencing will take place Feb. 27

Noble J. Knight, saw his possession of drugs, a felony of the fifth degree occurring October of 2008. He will serve the remaining 117 days of his sentence at Belmont County concurrent with his four month sentence in Monroe County.

After two positive screenings, Shawn Eugene Lipsey, 1565 Sullivant Ave., Columbus, was sentenced on one count trafficking in drugs in the vicinity of a school, a felony of the fourth degree occurring April 28. He was sentenced to 18 months, suspended in part, 90 days in jail and six months of corrective counseling. Afterward, he will be subject to two years of community control sanctions.

DeFrank can be reached at