Baby sitter sentenced

in attack on 5-year-old

A baby sitter accused of sexually assaulting a 5-year-old girl he was watching was sentenced to prison this week after pleading guilty to several charges.

Sage J. Smerk, 19, of Green, pleaded guilty Monday to attempted rape, a second-degree felony; felonious assault, a first-degree felony; and failure to comply, a third-degree felony.

Summit County Common Pleas Judge Alison Breaux sentenced Smerk to 12 years in prison and designated him a Tier III sex offender. This means that after he’s released from prison, he must register his address with the sheriff every 90 days for the rest of his life.

The girl’s mother returned home late last October and found her daughter and 2-year-old son had been left by themselves for two hours. The woman called Smerk, whom she claims admitted assaulting her daughter. She then called authorities.

Smerk was arrested after a traffic pursuit. Summit County sheriff’s deputies said he fired an air pistol out of the window at deputies during the chase and drove through several intersections before his arrest in North Canton.


48-year-old man charged

in sexual assault of child

Springfield Township police have arrested a 48-year-old man on a charge he raped a child.

Keith Onie Morris, 48, of Shadybrook Drive, is charged with one count of rape involving a child under the age of 13, the police department said in a news release.

Police said the child’s parents contacted them after suspecting signs of physical sexual abuse. Morris is a friend of the child’s family, police said.

Morris was arraigned in Akron Municipal Court on March 8 and then was booked into the Summit County Jail, where he is being held on $1 million bond.

Detectives are investigating whether there are other victims and ask people to call Springfield Township Police at 330-784-1609 if they have pertinent information to share.


Council considering plan

to raise nonunion wages

Summit County committees reviewed legislation and several resolutions Monday, including a measure that, if approved by the full council, will give 3 percent pay raises to 596 nonunion county employees as of April 1. The pay raises match percentage increases given to county union employees; the money is included in the 2019 budget council approved last year. The raises work out to an average of $1,805.30 per employee.

The council’s public works committee approved spending slightly more than $1.4 million to resurface and widen the part of Medina Line Road that is in the county.

The public works committee also approved a $600,000 resurfacing of part of Boston Mills Road in Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Federal funds will pay for $306,000 of the project.

Related to that, the public works committee agreed to a resolution authorizing spending up to $356,000 on how to minimize landslides on parts of Boston Mills Road in Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The federal government will pay up to $227,200 of the study costs. The county pays the balance. The road has seven active landslides.

The committee measures will be taken up at the next full council meeting.