2 county men sentenced for sex-related crimes

Two Wood County men have been sentenced for sex-related offenses.

Duane Kern, 81, Bradner, and Peter Carella, 61, Perrysburg, appeared Monday in the courtroom of Wood County Common Pleas Judge Molly Mack.

Kern pleaded guilty to the amended charge of sexual imposition, a third-degree misdemeanor.

He had been indicted in October for gross sexual imposition, a third-degree felony.

According to Ohio Revised Code, sexual imposition states no person shall have sexual contact with another or cause another to have sexual contact with the offender.

Gross sexual imposition adds an age requirement.

Wood County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Jim Hoppenjans said the state recommended community control with sex offender treatment.

Hoppenjans said that sometime from Jan. 1, 2015, to Dec. 31, 2016, when the preteen victim was with Kern, he grabbed her hand and put it in his pants.

Defense attorney Scott Coon requested the judge continue directly to sentencing.

He said his client had been married for 52 years, and “has accepted responsibility for his actions … and has voluntarily engaged in counseling to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

“I’ve been a good citizen,” Kern said.

Hoppenjans said the family and the victim, who is now an adult, agree to a sentence of community control.

Mack sentenced Kern to 60 days in jail with credit for time served and the remaining days suspended.

She imposed a community control term of two years.

Kern must register as a Tier I sex offender, which will require him to register with law enforcement annually for 15 years.

Carella was sentenced for having images depicting nude children.

A bill of information was filed against Carella in October, accusing him of illegal use of minors in nudity-oriented material, a fifth-degree felony.

A bill of information is used when a defendant, while not admitting a crime, concedes to allowing the charges move forward without having the grand jury return an indictment.

Defense attorney Drew Griffith said his client had no criminal record and earned an honorary discharge after graduating from West Point in 1983.

Carella lost his job due to this charge and has begun participating in non-substance-related 12-step program, Griffith said.

“I have no doubt he will be compliant with terms and conditions set forth by this court,” he said in asking for a sentence of community control.

“I take full responsibility for my actions,” Carella said. “I regret my actions fully and there will absolutely be no recurrence of this in the future.”

According to court documents, on Dec. 14, 2020, he possessed or viewed material that showed a minor who was not his child in a state of nudity.

Griffith said his client was in possession of two inappropriate images.

Mack imposed a sentence of three years of community control.

Carella also must register as a Tier I sex offender, which will require him to register with law enforcement annually for 15 years.