Serial rapist sentenced to 35 years after pleading guilty to raping a 7 year old

Project Safe Childhood is a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice.

Columbus, Ohio: On Tuesday, June 28, the Southern District of Ohio announced that 42-year-old Joseph C. Gaines had been sentenced to 420 months in federal prison for sexually abusing a 7-year-old child that he transported in his semi-truck across state lines.

 

Gaines plead guilty to transporting a minor interstate with the intention of sexually abusing the victim and committing a new offense against a minor as a registered sex offender in November 2021.

 

The child was abused between July and August 2019 according to court documents.

 

“A multi-decade sentence is warranted for this defendant, whose ongoing actions reveal him to be a true predator,” said U.S. Attorney Kenneth L. Parker. “Gaines spent much of the past 20 plus years – other than the times he was incarcerated – perpetrating dangerous sexual assaults. Now, he’ll spend the next 35 years in federal prison. This is the type of incorrigible conduct that prison walls are made for.”

 

At the time of the assaults Gaines is reported to have been on parole from a conviction in Stark County Common Pleas Court in 2005. In that case Gaines was found guilty of raping a 13-year-old girl in 1998.

 

The statement issued goes on to detail his other sexual crimes.

 

In 2000, Gaines was convicted in Florida of kidnapping and attempted aggravated assault after approaching a woman on the beach, placing a knife to her throat, and saying, “you’re coming with me.”

 

Gaines’ DNA also linked him to two other rapes. Around the time of the 1998 rape, the defendant approached a 15-year-old on the street in Canton, Ohio, and threatened her with a box cutter before taking her into the woods and raping her. Gaines’ DNA was found in the victim’s underwear.

 

In 2002, a married couple was walking on the beach in Florida when the defendant approached them with a weapon covered by a towel and forced them to an abandoned building. Gaines raped the wife and forced the husband to watch.

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