Ohio preacher gets deal in child rape case after years of court delays by Georgia House speaker

Ohio preacher gets deal in child rape case after years of court delays by Georgia House speaker

July 20th, 2019 by Associated Press in Breaking News

House Speaker David Ralston talks to media on Friday, Feb. 22, 2019 in Atlanta. A member of the Georgia House is calling for the powerful speaker to resign amid reports that he repeatedly used his office to delay court proceedings for criminal defendants, some accused of violent crimes, that he represents as an attorney. The resolution, introduced Friday, encourages Ralston to resign over what it calls an "unacceptable abuse of power and professional judgment." (Bob Andres/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

House Speaker David Ralston talks to media on...

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

BLAIRSVILLE, Ga. — An evangelical Ohio preacher accused of repeatedly raping a child has avoided prison mostly because of his attorney, who's said to have used his position as Georgia House speaker to delay court proceedings.

Enotah Judicial Circuit District Attorney Jeff Langley told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that a deal for 10 years' probation was the best he could do after the repeated delays. Jason Brothers pleaded guilty Wednesday to sexual battery of a minor and admitted to sexually touching the victim, now a 21-year-old woman.

Langley said the case would've been stronger if it was tried years ago as it now relied on witnesses remembering instances from 2012.

Republican Speaker David Ralston told the newspaper the case's outcome wasn't unusual. A former FBI agent said Ralston delayed 226 cases about 966 times since becoming speaker in 2010.