WASHINGTON COURT HOUSE — A retired Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper was recently sentenced to five years in prison for the rape of a minor.
Robert Ruth, 58, formerly of 21 Residence Drive in Washington C.H., pleaded “no contest” in Fayette County Common Pleas Court to the second count of the grand jury indictment — first-degree felony rape — as part of a plea agreement with the Fayette County Prosecutor’s Office. Two counts of first-degree felony rape and one count of third-degree felony sexual battery were dismissed.
Common Pleas Court Judge Steven Beathard found Ruth guilty of the charge, and on Jan. 3 Ruth was sentenced to five years in prison. Ruth was also designated as a Tier III sex offender, the most serious sex offender designation in Ohio. He will be subject to sex offender registration and verification requirements every 90 days for life.
The charge Ruth pleaded “no contest” to states that he engaged in sexual conduct with the victim and “purposely compelled” him “to submit by force or threat of force” on Sept. 30, 2001. The male victim was 9 to 11 years old at the time of the sexual abuse, according to court documents.
According to Fayette County Prosecutor Jess Weade, the allegations against Ruth did not come to light until 2021, and there was a lack of physical evidence in the case.
“Delayed disclosure is normal in these types of abuse cases and we completely understand why,” said Weade. “However, lack of physical evidence and delayed disclosure always add a degree of difficulty during a trial.”
Ruth first appeared in court April 22 when a $100,000 bond was issued, but was released from the Fayette County Jail April 25 on his own recognizance.
According to Channel 10 WBNS out of Columbus, Ruth was employed by the Ohio State Highway Patrol from March 1988 to Jan. 6, 2017.
Reach Record-Herald Editor Ryan Carter at 740-313-0352.