Thursday, July 12th, 2012
St. Henry man labeled sex offender
Wife faces intimidation charges relating to case
By Margie Wuebker
A 79-year-old St. Henry man was labeled a tier one sex offender during his sentencing on misdemeanor sexual charges Wednesday afternoon in Mercer County Common Pleas Court.
Carl W. Albers, 252 S. Eastern Ave., a retired farmer, pleaded guilty June 4 to five counts of sexual imposition. The charges were reduced from gross sexual imposition, third-degree felonies, as part of a negotiated plea agreement. The offenses occurred between 1990 and 2009; the victims were ages 8, 9 and 10 at the time.
Meanwhile, legal proceedings continue in a related Celina Municipal Court case involving his 79-year-old wife, Alvira. She faces 10 counts of intimidating a witness, all first-degree misdemeanors.
At sentencing, Judge Jeffrey Ingraham imposed 300 days in jail, then suspended the jail time on the condition Albers completes one year monitored time with the adult probation department and gets an assessment and counseling with West Ohio Forensic Services at his own cost. He also must pay a $250 fine on each count for a total of $1,250 and reimburse the victims' families for $330 in counseling fees.
When Albers commented, "I don't have money," the judge quickly replied "Find the money or go to jail."
As a tier one offender, he must register his address with law enforcement for 15 years.
Further, the judge told Albers he is not to be alone with anyone younger than 18 unless there is an adult present who is approved by the adult probation department. He also must follow all court guidelines and commit no offenses during the coming year.
"These are the standard terms and I will not make an exception for you," Ingraham said.
Prior to sentencing, the father of one victim shared how trying the past months have been since the defendant's indictment in September 2010.
"If Carl had accepted the plea he could have had this over 15 months ago," the man said. "Instead, he tried all kinds of legal maneuvering, along with his wife's intimidation letters to various people, adding stress on the victims and their families. Rather than admit his guilt and get help for himself, he chose to drag this out, causing heartache for everyone involved ... how can healing take place?"
One of the victims, now a mother of a young child, struggled for composure as she told the court how Albers robbed her of innocence as well as trust.
The woman explained his actions affected not only her but several other girls. Relatives confronted him about the inappropriate conduct, and he reportedly admitted his guilt and promised such behavior would never happen again.
"We decided not to make a case against him," she added tearfully. "But when he did it to another younger girl, we decided we had to report it and get him some help so he wouldn't ruin any other lives."
Mercer County Assistant Prosecutor Matt Fox also spoke about closure in terms of victims and their families.
"The human spirit permits people to move ahead and to forgive but not forget," he added.
Albers addressed the victims and their families.
"I love you all as the Lord loves me," he said. "The Lord forgives me as I forgive you."
Alvira Albers, who was present on the third floor of the Mercer County Courthouse but did not enter the courtroom, had been scheduled for a pretrial hearing before Judge James Scheer later in the afternoon. Attorney Kevin Lennen - a representative of the same Dayton firm that handled her husband's case - requested a delay to review discovery documents received from the state.
The charges, filed by the Mercer County Sheriff's Office, allege that on or about Oct. 11 she wrote letters attempting to intimidate and/or hinder victims of a crime or a witness involved in a criminal action. The charges stem from 10 letters received by victims and family members.
If convicted, each count carries up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.