Proctorville man gets 60 years in prison for rape

Published 4:48 pm Monday, November 26, 2012

A 69-year-old man who victims say took their innocence and haunted their lives will likely spend the rest of his life in prison for committing decades of sex crimes.

Don Copley, of 1518 County Road 70, Proctorville, pleaded guilty to 15 counts of first-degree rape Monday in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court. The original indictment charging Copley with 51 counts of rape was amended to five counts for each of the three female victims, who were all, according to the specific counts, teenagers over the age of 13.

Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Brigham Anderson recommended Copley be sentenced to a total of 60 years in prison.

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Judge Charles Cooper accepted the sentence recommendation and also ordered that Copley be a Tier III sex offender, requiring him to register for life.

Copley was indicted by a Lawrence County grand jury in February after his three nieces, now adults, came forward to report the abuse.

Counts one through five of the indictment named the oldest niece, who was abused between Aug. 1, 1996 and June 30, 1997. Counts 21 through 25 named another niece who was abused between July 1, 1996 and Oct. 1, 2004. Counts 41 through 45 named a niece who was abused from July 1, 1996 to Oct. 1, 2001.