WOOSTER — A Wooster man who last October was convicted of molesting a 5-year-old girl will spend at least 10 years in prison, a Wayne County judge ordered Wednesday.
Anthony Bryant, who turned 33 on Wednesday, was sentenced to 10 years to life in prison, the result of his conviction on two counts of gross sexual imposition, a third-degree felony. Judge Mark K. Wiest also said that Bryant would have to register as a tier II sex offender if he is released from prison.
Following a day-and-a-half long trial last October, Wiest found Bryant guilty of the two counts of gross sexual imposition but acquitted him on six more serious charges including rape and sexual battery.
All of the charges Bryant faced carried a sexually violent predator specification. And prior to issuing the sentence, Wiest ruled that Bryant is a sexually violent predator, meaning the court believes it is likely Bryant could commit one or more sexual offenses in the future.
Wiest made the decision following a hearing in which the prosecution presented evidence of Bryant’s history of sexual offenses. The state also called as a witness Dr. Sylvia O’Bradovich, a clinical psychologist at Summit Psychological Associates in Akron who performed a sexual offense risk assessment on Bryant and said, “He is at very high risk for future sex offending and sexual violence.”
Before this conviction, Bryant was already a registered sex offender, court records show. According to court documents, Bryant was convicted of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor in May 2011 and subsequently had to register as a Tier I sex offender and serve an 18-month jail term. The 2011 conviction came after Bryant pleaded guilty to having sexual contact with a 14-year-old-girl, according to court records. Bryant also was adjudicated delinquent by reason of gross sexual imposition in Juvenile Court when he was 14 years old after he admitted to touching a 10-year-old girl inappropriately, first assistant prosecutor Angela Poth-Wypasek said Wednesday.
Bryant’s lawyer, Cleveland-based defense attorney Edward R. LaRue, said Bryant maintains his innocence in the most recent case, and plans to appeal. And because Bryant intends to appeal, LaRue said, Bryant declined to make a statement in court Wednesday.
Prior to Wiest handing down the sentence, the grandmother of the victim in the case — the daughter of Bryant’s girlfriend — offered a victim impact statement, read by Jessica Musser, a victim’s advocate for the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office.
“Given (Bryant’s) inability to be a person who should have protected (the girl) and his need for sexual gratification, she has undergone so many struggles and life-altering changes that will affect her for years to come,” the woman wrote. ” ... She is an amazing girl, and no child should go through the things that Anthony put her through.”
The Wooster Police Department began investigating the allegations against Bryant on Jan. 15, 2018 after the girl’s grandmother brought the accusations to police.
Reporter Jack Rooney can be reached at 330-287-1645 or firstname.lastname@example.org. He is on Twitter at twitter.com/RooneyReports.