NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (Aug. 8, 2022) – The suspect in a child sex abuse case will be staying locked up ahead of his trial.
33-year-old Clifford Sutton Jr. of Uhrichsville remains in the Tuscarawas County Jail after Common Pleas Court Judge Michael Ernest granted the state’s request to have him held there without bond.
“I do find from the presentation made by the prosecutor’s office that there is clear and convincing evidence that there are no release conditions that would reasonably assure the safety of persons and the community and that the presumption is great that the accused committed the offense for which the accused is charged.”
Sutton has pleaded not guilty to a 10-count indictment charging him rape, gross sexual imposition, unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, and endangering children. Assistant Prosecutor Kristine Beard says Sutton walked into the sheriff’s office and reported the crimes on June 19th, vowing to harm himself if he wasn’t arrested immediately.
“He threatened to run into police cars in the parking lot, and he was going to do whatever it took to be put in custody that day… and as the court is well aware that people who are suicidal sometimes in these situations can also be homicidal.”
The crimes allegedly occurred from November of 2019 to this past May and began when the victim was 12 years old. Sutton is scheduled to be tried on the charges September 7th, although his public defenders have asked Ernest to postpone the proceedings.