A judge sentenced a 76-year-old man to five years in prison
for sexually molesting children at two daycare facilities in Athens County.
Thomas Shifflet, of Glouster, was convicted on March 18 of
gross sexual imposition with a child under the age of 13.
Shifflet also entered an Alford plea to three remaining
counts of gross sexual imposition. The jury was unable to unanimously decide on
the three counts after his trial.
An Alford plea means that sufficient evidence exists with which the
prosecution would likely convince a judge or jury to find the defendant guilty beyond
a reasonable doubt.
Prosecutor Keller Blackburn said, "Shifflet sexually
molested multiple' … on various dates in 2011, and the defendant sexually
molested a 10-year-old girl in a vehicle in March of 2010, with his wife and the
victim's grandmother present."
Shifflet will have to register as a tier II sex offender
when he is released from prison.