SUMMIT COUNTY

Plea deal in sexual assault

AKRON: A 43-year-old Boston Heights man pleaded guilty this week to sexually assaulting a mentally disabled elderly woman.

Raymond Gates pleaded guilty Thursday under an agreement with prosecutors to sexual battery, a third-degree felony. Prosecutors dismissed charges of rape and gross sexual imposition.

He will be sentenced at 9 a.m. March 29 by Summit County Common Pleas Judge Jason Wells.

In November 2016, Summit County sheriff’s deputies responded to a home in Northfield Center about a report of a disoriented elderly female.

The caller said the woman knocked on the back door of her home and the woman was unable to communicate. The woman also wasn’t properly dressed for the cold temperature, according to a news release from the prosecutor’s office.

Investigators determined the woman suffered from dementia and had been sexually assaulted.

Summit County sheriff’s deputies charged Gates with assault in February 2017.

Caseworker burnout study

Summit County Children Services is participating in a national study looking for ways to reduce burnout of caseworkers, Beacon Journal news partner News 5 Cleveland reported.

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services says turnover at child welfare agencies is typically six times the average rate for all industries.

“Our turnover here is lower than most, but I will say in 2017, it was one of the highest it has been for several years, around the 7 percent mark,” agency Deputy Executive Director of Human Resources Valarie Nash told the television station.

“That’s high for us, but it’s low within our industry.”

Eight Ohio counties will participate in the project led by the Quality Improvement Center for Workforce Development. The organization is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Ohio is one of just a few states with a child welfare system supervised by the state but run by counties. Cynthia Dungey, director of the Ohio department, says that puts Ohio in an unusual position to provide information about turnover and other staffing challenges.

The eight Ohio counties participating in the three-year study are Champaign, Clark, Hamilton, Knox, Montgomery, Summit, Trumbull and Wayne.

AKRON

Holocaust essay contest

AKRON: The city is accepting entries in the 30th annual Holocaust Arts and Writing Contest, a competition for 6-12 grade students in Akron and Summit County.

The theme for 2018 is Lessons of the Holocaust: The Lives of the Children. To commemorate the 30th anniversary of the program, winners will get cash this year.

Entries can be submitted from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Feb. 2 at City Hall, 166 S. High St.

Students may submit one entry each from their schools or independently.

First-place winners will travel with their teachers to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.

For more information, contact Klair Heestand, coordinator of the Holocaust Arts and Writing Contest, at info.Holocaust@akronohio.gov.

UNIVERSITY OF AKRON

Sexual assault reported

AKRON: University of Akron authorities were investigating a report of a sexual assault that took place at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Arts & Sciences Building on campus.

The school said a female student reported the incident to university police on Thursday and said it involved “someone she knows.”

The suspect is also a student, UA authorities said.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact university police detectives at 330-972-2911.

Confidential tips also can be texted to police at 274637 (CRIMES).

The texted message should begin with the keyword ZIPTIP.