AKRON, Ohio - A Stark County man is charged with raping his own niece, 19/43 News' Bill Younkin reported.
Police said the girl's parents claimed that the sexual attacks started four years ago, when the girl was only 7 years old.
Ronald Lemasters, 25, didn't enter a plea in his first court appearance on Wednesday. The judge put it off until he gets a court-appointed lawyer, but he's not going anywhere for a while because bond was set at $100,000.
Meanwhile, those who know the young victim are in shock. Many said that they are wondering how this could have gone on for so long in the quiet Akron neighborhood.
"It makes me sick to my stomach," neighborhood worker Ellen Ellis said. "I really get sick to my stomach."
The amazing part of the case is that the child had kept quiet for so long about what was reportedly going on, and how fast lawmen made an arrest. Sheriff's detectives got involved in the case on Tuesday. Soon after, the youngster opened up to a school counselor.
"She was scared," Summit County Sheriff's Department Capt. Larry Momchilov said. "She didn't want to tell anybody because she was scared of him."
When sheriff's detectives got wind of it, they brought Lemasters in, and he gave them a statement that said he was involved with his 11-year-old niece, and that he had sex with her on several occasions.
"He admitted that he had sex, and that this started when she was 7 years old," Momchilov said.
"It's a crazy world we live in, with everything going on. It's just one insanity after another."