KENTON — Dennis Dellifield was sentenced Thursday to 90 days in jail for texting two former students at Allen East schools and requesting the boys send him photos of their genitalia.
The former Allen East band director was also sentenced to five years on probation and will be required to register every 180 days for the next 25 years as a Tier II sex offender. He was fined $1,000 and ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation.
Hardin County Common Pleas Court Judge Scott Barrett, who handed down the sentence Thursday, said Dellifield “violated the trust of your entire profession of teaching” by soliciting photos from underage boys of their erect sex organs. The judge also said he doubted the one-time band director felt any genuine remorse, telling Dellified, “You don’t think you did anything wrong.”
But the judge nonetheless opted to sentence Dellifield on the low end of the sentencing range, ignoring Prosecutor Bradford Bailey’s recommendation that the defendant be sentenced to nearly five years in prison.
Dellifield, 69, was found guilty Feb. 27 of four of eight criminal charges related to his requests in February 2017 that the two minor boys text to him photos of their genitalia in an erect state. Dellifield admitted during his January trial that he had requested the photos, but denied it was for the purpose of sexual gratification.
Dellifield was indicted by a Hardin County grand jury on eight counts related to the text messages, but four of those two each of attempted pandering and the attempted use of a minor in nudity-oriented material, were dismissed by Barrett during the trial to the court. Barrett said the state failed in its burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the attempted pandering charges against Dellifield were justified, saying prosecutors did not satisfy a three-pronged definition of “obscenity” necessary for the charges.
The judge found the former band director guilty of the remaining charges: two counts of attempted illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material, third-degree felonies, and attempted illegal use of a minor in a nudity-oriented material or performance, first-degree misdemeanors.
Prior to sentencing Thursday, the judge heard from the mother of one of the boys to whom Dellifield sent the texts in question.
“You should be ashamed for your actions toward my son,” the woman told Dellifield. “Please look at me when I’m talking to you.”
Bailey told the court that Dellifield, in a pre-sentence investigation report, claimed the woman and her son lied to investigators about what really happened in the case. The woman responded Thursday in kind.
“You purposely manipulated me and the entire Allen East community, and you continue to show no remorse for your actions,” she said. “But at least the truth has finally come out.”
Dellifield was sentenced to 90 days in jail and five years of probation on the two misdemeanor charges. Those sentences, by law, must be served consecutively with any felony sentences. The judge ordered identical sentences of 90 days in jail and five years of probation on each of the felony charges to also be served consecutively.
Dellifield was further ordered to have no contact with anyone under the age of 18 without supervision and to have no contact with the victims in the case.
Defense attorney Michael Rumer said his client intends to appeal the verdict in the case and asked Barrett to delay the imposition of sentence pending appeal. The judge took that request under advisement.
Dellifield resigned March 31, 2016, after 44 years with Allen East schools.