Beacon Journal staff report
A 67-year-old man was sentenced to life in prison Monday after pleading guilty to two counts of rape, attempted rape and attempted gross sexual imposition, authorities said.
Bearl Dennis Penix, of Griffith Road in Akron, will not be eligible for parole until he is 77, prosecutors said. He was sentenced by Summit County Common Pleas Judge Mary Margaret Rowlands immediately after entering his pleas.
Prosecutors said Penix sexually abused four girls, all of whom he knew through family members, over the past 15 years. The fourth victim came forward 15 years after she was abused when she heard on the news of Penix’s arrest.
A fifth victim came forward during the police investigation, but because her alleged incident of abuse occurred more than 30 years ago, prosecutors said, the statute of limitations prohibited prosecution.