WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – This is the fourth time that Trumbull County Prosecutor Dennis Watkins has fought to keep a child rapist in prison.
A parole hearing for John Whisonant is coming up in June. He was convicted of raping several children between the ages of 4 and 9 in Howland Township in 1985.
At the time of Whisonant’s sentencing, the maximum sentence for the type of rape he committed was 7 to 25 years in prison. The maximum penalty now under Ohio law is a life sentence.
Watkin’s office “vigorously” opposes Whisonant’s release because he believes he has not served enough time and releasing him early would diminish the seriousness of the crimes he committed.
“In our opinion, inmate John Whisonant is a documented chronic sexual predator of the worst kind. We can’t picture (nor have we seen) another like him. Period!” Watkins wrote.
Watkins noted the physical and psychological injury to Whisonant’s victims as well as his risk to society if released.
“In the interest of justice, please keep inmate Whisonant where he is and where he belongs until the dawn of his last of eligibility for parole,” Watkins wrote.