Man gets pro­ba­tion for ab­duct­ing girl

The Columbus Dispatch - - Metro&state - By Dean Nar­ciso dnar­ciso@dis­ @DeanNar­ciso

A Colum­bus fire­fighter es­caped a prison sen­tence, but not the wrath of the par­ents of the young woman he was ac­cused of rap­ing as a child.

Ti­mothy Durbin, 53, was sen­tenced to five years of com­mu­nity con­trol, a form of pro­ba­tion, in Delaware County Com­mon Pleas Court on Tues­day, af­ter hav­ing pleaded guilty in Septem­ber to a charge of ab­duc­tion.

That plea agree­ment pre­vented a sec­ond trial, the first hav­ing ended in a dead­locked jury. It also al­lowed him to escape pos­si­ble con­vic­tions on charges of rape, gross sex­ual im­po­si­tion and kid­nap­ping.

But just hours be­fore his sen­tenc­ing, Durbin had filed a mo­tion to with­draw his plea, ex­plain­ing that he might have been un­der duress when he en­tered it. Re­tired Mont­gomery County Ap­peals Court Judge James A. Bro­gan de­nied that mo­tion, say­ing the vic­tim and her fam­ily had been through enough of an or­deal.

“This man has hurt my daugh­ter in the most de­struc­tive way,” the vic­tim’s fa­ther told Bro­gan. “Help me to heal my daugh­ter. ... Your de­ci­sion can tell (her) that she is worth fight­ing for.”

The Dis­patch typ­i­cally does not iden­tify vic­tims of sex­ual as­sault.

Al­though Durbin’s Al­ford plea didn’t re­quire him to ad­mit crim­i­nal con­duct, he con­ceded that prose­cu­tors had enough ev­i­dence to con­vict him.

Still, he main­tained his in­no­cence: “I don’t like tak­ing a plea when I’m 100 per­cent in­no­cent. But that’s where I find my­self,” Durbin told Bro­gan.

Durbin faces up to three years in prison if he vi­o­lates his pro­ba­tion. He also must pay $1,250 for the pre­vi­ous jury costs and a $1,000 fine.

Both sides had agreed that Durbin be given com­mu­nity con­trol in­stead of jail time.

But the woman’s mother asked Bro­gan, “Her move­ments were re­stricted. Why shouldn’t his be?”

Bro­gan said pun­ish­ment was lim­ited to the lesser charge of ab­duc­tion, and he noted that Durbin had no pre­vi­ous crim­i­nal his­tory.

Durbin was ac­cused of as­sault­ing the girl be­tween July 1, 2003, and July 31, 2004, af­ter her fa­ther hired him to build an ad­di­tion to their Wester­ville home.

Durbin’s at­tor­ney, Greg Mey­ers, was pre­pared to ar­gue that the girl’s ac­count was re­lated to false mem­o­ries planted by years of ther­apy.

Durbin, a fire­fighter for more than 20 years, has been as­signed to the Fire Alarm Of­fice, do­ing re­search and gath­er­ing data, ac­cord­ing to the Fire Di­vi­sion. His an­nual pay is $77,000.


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