LIMA — Twenty-four felony counts. The maximum sentence on each. To be served consecutively.
It all adds up to 156 years behind bars for 39-year-old Jay Holliday for repeatedly and methodically sexually abusing and impregnating a 16-year-old girl with whom he had a familial connection, all while knowingly being infected with the HIV virus.
A second victim, a girl who was even younger, was involved in charges that were ultimately dismissed in the case, according to multiple parties.
Assistant Allen County Prosecuting Attorney Kenneth Sturgill called Holliday a “predator” with a prior conviction for rape who simply repeated his pattern of abuse once he got out of prison.
“That’s what Jay Holliday does,” Sturgill said. “I would ask the court for consecutive sentences to protect this community. These crimes are so serious that no single prison term is appropriate. I’m asking the court to impose the maximum sentence on each count and to order them served consecutively.”
Judge Terri Kohlrieser did not hesitate to do just that.
“After what you’ve done to the children in this community, I don’t consider that to be cruel and unusual,” the judge said after issuing the 156-year sentence.
“This will affect the victim for the rest of her life. You have destroyed and warped a young girl trying to figure out life. It will never stop for her. That is what you have done to her with your systematic abuse,” Kohlrieser told the defendant.
Initially charged with more than 50 sex-related felonies that included rape, Holliday entered into a plea deal with prosecutors last month that reduced the total charges against him to 24. As part of the deal, Holliday agreed to plead guilty to 12 counts of felonious assault and 12 counts of sexual battery. The remaining counts of the indictment, including multiple counts of trafficking in persons and rape, were dismissed.
Defense attorney Zachary Maisch attempted to convince Kohlrieser that several of the counts should be merged for sentencing purposes, but the judge rejected those legal arguments.
The charges stem from alleged incidents involving the two young girls that reportedly took place from March 2018 through March 2019 in Lima. The bulk of the court records in the case had been ordered sealed from the public after prosecutors argued that allowing the details of the case to become public “could seriously jeopardize the investigation, as well as seriously prejudice all parties involved in the case,” according to court documents.
Holliday addressed the judge briefly, saying, “I know saying ‘I’m sorry’ does not fix anything. I’d take it back if I could.”
Holliday’s wife, Christy, 29, of Lima, faces one count of felonious assault, a second-degree felony; one count of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, a second-degree felony; and one count of sexual battery, a felony of the third degree, in what was described as part of an organized pattern of criminal behavior with her husband.
Christy Holliday faces up to 25 years behind bars if convicted on all counts against her.