YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – An emotional day in court Friday as a man convicted of sex crimes learned his fate and some of the victims spoke their truth.
Donavin Chipps, 27, pleaded guilty to charges of rape, unlawful sexual misconduct with a minor, gross sexual imposition, and sexual battery.
Friday, Chipps went before Judge John Durkin to be sentenced. But first, several victims in the case gave statements.
“I looked up to Chipps, as an instructor and a role model, and I admired how hard-working and dedicated he was. Having that trust and admiration used against you deeply impacts the way you view every single relationship and yourself,” said one of the victims who wished to not be named.
“I can’t really find the words to express enough things to say to this person, because this is just something I’m gonna have to deal with for the rest of my life,” said Ashton Gingerich, who has been vocal about the case.
The mother of another victim, who is still underage, spoke on his behalf saying how much this has impacted him in many ways.
Chipps sexually assaulted multiple underage victims, some over the course of years. Some of the victims were under 10 years old at the time.
Before receiving his sentence, Chipps also spoke.
“If only one thing is heard through all of this, I hope you can hear from me what I always hoped to hear from my abusers, I’m sorry,” Chipp said.
Chipps’ attorney said there’s no excuse for his actions, but that his abusive, troubled childhood does help paint a fuller picture of how he ended up on the path went down.
“We all have our problems. We all have everything. I mean, Donavin did these things to me and I’m standing here presenting myself, fighting for the other people that didn’t have a voice,” Gingerich said.
Gingerich has turned to music as a way of coping and expressing himself. He released a song the day of the sentencing about his story, it’s called “Zodiac Killer.”
Judge Durkin sentenced Chipps to a total of 27 years in prison. Once he’s released he will need to be on probation for five years and register as a sex offender.