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Track Star Gets Life in Rape Case

February 12, 1999

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) _ Former Ohio State track star Chris Nelloms was sentenced today to life in prison for raping a girl.

Judge John Kessler of Montgomery County Common Pleas Court sentenced Nelloms to life on each of seven counts of rape of a child younger than 13 and one count of felonious sexual penetration of a child less than 13.

Kessler ordered four of the sentences to be served consecutively, meaning Nelloms will not be eligible for parole for 40 years.

``It’s a bitter pill to swallow when one of the chosen such as you falls so low,″ Kessler said.

Before sentencing, Nelloms sobbed as he addressed the judge.

Nelloms said he hopes someone ``will have mercy on me and forgive me and that my family will understand.″

Defense attorney Jon Paul Rion said the ruling will be appealed along with other issues in the case.

Nelloms was convicted Jan. 8 of sexually assaulting the girl, now 12, in homes in Dayton and Lexington, Ky., from 1995 to 1997. Nelloms denied the charges.

Defense lawyers had asked for a new trial on grounds that one of the jurors told a person at a barber shop that she had made up her mind about Nelloms before the trial ended. The juror also allegedly said she knew the mother of the victim.

The juror denied that she made up her mind early about the case and said she had been unaware that she had an aunt close to the girl’s mother.

Kessler denied the request Wednesday. He said he reached his decision after considering the testimony of three witnesses and the juror’s sincerity.

Nelloms, 27, of Trotwood, set several school records at Ohio State.

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