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Hines jailed for felony sex crime

ST. CLAIRSVILLE– Creighton William Hines was sentenced for attempted gross sexual imposition Tuesday as Belmont County Common Pleas John Vavra addressed several criminal cases.

Hines, 28, of 102 Marietta St., Woodsfield was given three years of community control sanctions, having pleaded guilty to the fourth-degree felony charge. Hines will serve six months in the Belmont County Jail and six months at the Eastern Ohio Correction Center.

The charge stems from incidents that reportedly occurred in Barnesville from 2016 through 2017. The victim is a girl younger than 13 at the time.

Hines was designated a Tier 2 sex offender and will register with his local sheriff’s office every month for 25 years. He was represented by Belmont County Public Defender Frank Pierce, who asked Vavra to consider the inappropriate touching was not of the most serious degree in terms of severity and lasting harm.

Vavra reviewed Hines’ prior felony conviction for burglary. He also took note of the impact of the crime on the victim.

“He caused his victim serious psychological harm which, from the (victim’s) statement, appears to linger even today although this happened several years ago. The harm was worse, the court believes, by her tender age at the time. His relationship with the victim facilitated the offense. It appears as if there may have been grooming,” Vavra said. “There has been no showing of any remorse on his part.”

Vavra said a community control sentence would allow the court to better monitor Hines’ conduct, and state guidelines call for such a sentence, given the specifics of the charge.

“Under the current law of the state of Ohio, it would be difficult to sentence him to the penitentiary under all the circumstances,” Vavra said.

Vavra said Hines also will be evaluated for substance abuse issues, although Hines indicated he had only alcohol issues.

A violation of his sanctions could result in a sentence of one and a half years in prison.

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