LIMA — A man was sentenced Tuesday to 24 years in prison for raping a 7-year-old child.
Johnathan Byrd, 42, was sentenced on three counts of rape. He raped a child acquaintance in summer 2012, said Terri Kohlrieser, an assistant Allen County prosecutor.
Another person walked in on the crime, which led to the notification of authorities, Kohlrieser said.
Kohlrieser said after the hearing she believes better efforts to push for reporting of such cases are leading to more arrests.
“I don’t think we have more child molesters out there,” she said.
Kohlrieser said there have been strong efforts made to educate children about what a “bad touch” is. The effort also has stressed to children that such crimes are not their fault, she said.
Child molesters and rapists often manipulate a child to get the child to keep quiet about the crime, Kohlrieser said.
Parents, grandparents, teachers and anyone around children dealing with such topics need to make sure children know a crime against them is never their fault and it’s OK to report inappropriate acts by an adult, Kohlrieser said.
Children also should be told they will not get in trouble for reporting illegal acts, she said.