Dayton man sentenced for child rape convictions

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Michael James Luther web

Photo: Montgomery County Jail

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – A Dayton man will spend 26 years to life in prison after he was convicted of raping a 6-year-old special needs child and photographing the assaults.

Prosecutors say that a citizen found a memory card in the parking lot of Eastown Bingo on Falke Road on Saturday, February 15, 2020. The citizen placed the memory card in a tablet and discovered that the card contained child pornography. Kettering Police were notified immediately.

An officer investigated the images and determined the photos were taken in the city of Dayton, so evidence was turned over to the Dayton Police Department.

Further investigation revealed the identity of victim and the defendant, 34-year-old Michael James Luther. The images were taken by Luther while he sexually assaulted the victim, who has Cerebral Palsy, is non-verbal, and is confined to a wheelchair.

Luther had been entrusted to care for the child while the child’s mother was at work.

The Montgomery County Grand Jury indicted Luther on March 25, 2020, for four counts of rape of a child under 10 years of age and 18 counts of pandering obscenity involving a minor.

He was found guilty as charged on August 12, 2020.

Luther was sentenced to 26 years to life in prison on August 31. He was also designated a Tier III sex offender, which requires him to register his address upon release with the Sheriff’s Office every 90 days for the rest of his life.

Prosecutor Mat Heck added, “Thanks to the efforts of the citizen who found and turned over the memory card to the police, this defendant has been held responsible for his heinous conduct. Anyone who would sexually assault a six-year old child with Cerebral Palsy certainly deserves a lengthy prison sentence.” 

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