Stranger Danger...
Just One Piece Of The Puzzle


"Stranger Danger" — It’s a catchy rhyme that’s been around awhile, but it’s only one way to teach children about safety.

Yes - children need to be wary of strangers, but we cannot turn a blind eye to the fact that a perpetrator can be anyone, even a trusted adult – a relative, a teacher, a neighbor etc. In fact, only 10% of perpetrators of child sexual abuse are strangers to the child.

With that in mind, an approach aimed at teaching children to recognize questionable situations will not only reinforce stranger safety, but also empower children to recognize known adults who may not have the best intentions.

How can we do this? Well, it’s a balance.  

Talk to you children about warning signs, suspicious behaviors such as if an adult asks them to disobey you or to do something without permission. Let children know an adult should never ask them to keep a secret. Children should understand that if an adult ever makes them feel uncomfortable, they should tell you (or another trusted adult) right away.

We teach our children to respect and listen to adults. While that’s good, we must also make sure children know it’s okay to say no to an adult – even a trusted adult like a teacher or neighbor. This is key. If a trusted adult is a perpetrator, children need to know they can say no. They need to know they can tell another trusted adult that something uncomfortable is happening.

Teaching “No, Go, Yell, Tell” is a concept designed for children to better handle questionable situations. If a child is in a dangerous situation, they should say NO, run away, yell, and tell a trusted adult what happened immediately. You might consider practicing this technique using different scenarios.

Teach children about safe touch, and reinforce that children’s bodies belong to them. Let children know adults should never touch them inappropriately, and define what you mean by that.

It’s not a pretty subject, but it’s reality, and children need our help to know they have permission to say no to an adult, permission to listen to their instincts. Most importantly, children need to know that we will be there to help them when they need it, that they can talk to us about anything, and that we will listen. This conversation will look different for different families. Here are a few resources to find what works best for your family:

April Is Child Abuse Prevention Month

We are wearing blue to raise awareness about child abuse and to show support for children and families. April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. Thank you to those working to educate and prevent child abuse in our community.

Former Olentangy Teacher Indicted
For Sexually Abusing Students
The trial for 39-year-old Matthew Rausenberg is set for June 2. The indictment against him includes 32 counts, including gross sexual imposition and kidnapping.

Rausenberg was indicted on March 26 after a former student, a teenager, came forward with allegations of abuse from years earlier.

“After learning of the alleged abuse, authorities executed a search warrant on the defendant’s home on Monday, March 16,” said Delaware County Prosecutor Carol O’Brien. “Mr. Rausenberg was immediately removed from his classroom at Arrowhead Elementary and arrested that same day.”

Rausenberg, of Columbus, remains in jail on $1 million bond. The indictment against him includes allegations of criminal misconduct against five juvenile victims.  
Bond Set For Powell Man
Accused Of Raping A Juvenile

Bond is set at $60,000 for 51-year-old Timothy Durbin of Powell.

A Delaware County Grand Jury returned a seven-count indictment against Durbin after a disclosure of sexual misconduct was reported to Genoa Township Police.

The indictment against Durbin lists the alleged crime as occurring from July 1, 2003 through July 31, 2004. It goes on to state the victim, at the time of the alleged offenses, was less than 10 years old.

Durbin faces three counts of rape – first-degree felonies, three counts of gross sexual imposition – third-degree felonies, and one count of kidnapping – a first-degree felony. A trial date is set for June 16.

Trial Set For Galena Man
Charged With Child Pornography
Trial is set for May 28 for 36-year-old Larry A. Paynter II.

Paynter was indicted February 27 on eight counts of pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor – all second-degree felonies. 
“Mr. Paynter is a registered sex offender in the state of Ohio,” O’Brien said. “He was convicted in 2001 for compelling prostitution and sexual battery.
Massage Parlor Trial Continued,
Rescheduled For August 11 
The trial for 57-year-old Qing Xu, 56-year-old Xiaoshuang Chao, and 54-year-old Estella Xu has been continued from April 7 to August 11.
Both women are out on bond. Chao remains in jail. The indictment against them outlines 15 counts including engaging in a patter of corrupt activity and promoting prostitution with a human trafficking specification. 

Arraignment Set For
Cleaning Lady Facing Theft Charges

Cynthia Rector, 42, will be arraigned on May 15.

A Delaware County Grand Jury returned a 15-count indictment against the Reynoldsburg woman after law enforcement in multiple jurisdictions received calls from residents reporting missing items such as jewelry, electronics and cash. 
“The indictment outlines alleged criminal activity from July of 2014 through January 27, 2015 and names 14 victims,” said Delaware County Prosecutor Carol O’Brien. “Two of the victims are elderly and one is disabled, two distinctions that raise the felony level and the potential sentence.”

Victims' Rights Week and
Walk A Mile In Her Shoes

The Delaware County Commissioners proclaimed it “Victims’ Rights Week” in Delaware County from April 19-25.
Prosecutor O’Brien read the proclamation, and invited the commissioners to the upcoming Walk A Mile In Her Shoes event, a FREE event to raise awareness about sexualized violence toward women. 

This year's Walk A Mile In Her Shoes event is this week, the "First Friday" in Delaware - Friday, May 1!

This is a FREE event, open to all ages. Registration for the walk begins at 5:30. The walk starts at 6. See you there!

To learn more about why we "Walk A Mile In Her Shoes," visit:




P.O. BOX 8006
(740) 833-2690

Congratulations "Top Cops"

Delaware County Sheriff’s Deputies Kyle Griffith and Andrew Lee are recognized as “Top Cops” by the Delaware County Prosecutor’s Office.

Deputies Griffith and Lee were called to a physical altercation between a father and son.  On scene, they were met with an aggressive, uncooperative and intoxicated person.

Deputies tried to calm the defendant but sustained minor injuries after the defendant threatened physical violence. The incident was caught on cruiser video.

“Both Deputy Griffith and Lee handled the situation with complete professionalism,” said Eric Penkal Assistant Prosecutor. “They also testified very well, and the defendant in this case was found guilty of obstructing official business.”

Thank you, Deputies Griffith and Lee, for being “Top Cops” and protecting our community! Special thanks to “Top Cop” sponsor, Cracker Barrel, for providing each of our “Top Cops” with a complimentary dinner for two!

Meet Our Intern

Katie Berger is a go-getter from OWU. She will graduate in a year and has plans for law school.

Katie’s dream job is to be a Supreme Court Justice, but for now, she’s having a great time in our office.

“I interned with Judge Krueger last year, so being in the Prosecutor’s Office has shown me what happens before cases get to court,” Katie said. “One of my favorite things was working on a protection order. I am really thankful for how much I’ve gotten to do here.”

Serving Our Seniors Event

Kudos to Westerville Police for organizing such an informative event, filled with agencies and vendors offering services for senior citizens.

We met a lot of people and had some great conversations. See you next year!

Lending A Helping Hand

A big THANK YOU to Cheri Johnston, a Meals On Wheels volunteer, who let us tag along on her route. Pictured above, Prosecutor O'Brien and Cheri are visiting with Joe before heading to the next house on the list.

Meals On Wheels is an invaluable program for area seniors. We thank all those volunteers who  commit to deliver on a regular basis!

A New Face

If you stop by or call our office, chances are you will see or speak with Beki Covert, our new front desk receptionist. Here Beki is at the Sunbury Chamber Expo!

Welcome, Beki. We're happy to have you! 

Invited To Speak

Thanks to the Men's Club at Westerville Community United Church of Christ for the invitation to speak about the Grand Jury process!

Traditions Night

We had a ball at Woodward Elementary, making monkeys with everyone who came out to learn about different countries. Thanks for visiting us and "Monkeying Around In Thailand!"

Visiting Students

Prosecutor O'Brien visited Delaware Hayes and both campuses of The Delaware Area Career Center to speak with students before prom. 

If you're interested in inviting Prosecutor O'Brien to speak with your group, call (740) 833-2755.
Copyright © 2013 DELAWARE COUNTY PROSECUTOR'S OFFICE. All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
P.O. BOX 8006