Thursday, July 15, 2004

2 Butler County rape suspects skip court dates

By Janice Morse
Enquirer staff writer

HAMILTON - Some people trusted Brian T. Stepp and George David Grubb enough to post bond so they didn't have to stay in jail awaiting separate, unrelated trials.

But both rape suspects missed their Butler County trial dates this week, triggering repercussions for the men and those who posted their bail. The situations have also caused aggravation for court officials, would-be jurors and witnesses.

"It really doesn't happen all that often, but it does cause us considerable expense and inconvenience when it does," said Butler County Prosecutor Robin Piper.

Joe Statzer, Piper's office administrator, said, "Twice in a week? Nobody can remember that ever happening."

Warrants for the arrests of Stepp, 30, of Liberty Township, and Grubb, 44, of Hamilton, have been broadcast nationally. Bond was revoked. And authorities said they are trying to collect $21,600 remaining on Stepp's $24,000 bond - and to foreclose on two homes posted as collateral to cover Grubb's $50,000 bond.

Judge Matthew Crehan in November 2003 considered two property bonds sufficient to cover Grubb's bond. Larry Marcum and Harst W. Horn of Hamilton posted the bonds, court records say, but the records don't reveal the men's connection to Grubb.

Bonnie Stepp of Liberty Township posted 10 percent of a $24,000 bond for Brian Stepp. Records that are available online do not say whether Bonnie Stepp enlisted a bondsman for that service and also do not list her relationship to Brian Stepp. Bonnie Stepp declined comment Wednesday night.

The costs extend to the county, too. Prosecutors paid for witnesses to be flown from out-of-state and housed in a hotel for four days in Grubbs' case. Pipe estimated the loss at about $10,000.

Grubb faces five counts of rape - three involving a girl under the age of 13 - and one count of gross sexual imposition. The alleged incidents occurred from 1997 to 2003.

Stepp is accused of 10 charges: three counts of rape, three counts of kidnapping and three counts of impersonating a peace officer, plus a count of sexual battery. Authorities say the crimes happened late last year.


Collectors grin at smiley plates
Teacher pay starts lower in Ohio, Ky.
Rulings put courts in turmoil
Mason v. judge: Ouster debated
Four-legged recruit not drug dealers' best friend

Objections from neighbors put kibosh on outdoor bar and grill
Ohio may do Brent Spence impact study
Finan quits as county's lobbyist after just 6 months
Green Twp. thwarts Lowe's
Litter pickup steals time, money from road repairs, study reports
Local news briefs
Shooting range input sought
Inattentive officer dies in cycle crash
Neighborhood briefs
Some corn lost to rain
Man executed for 1989 murder of woman, girl
Concealed-weapon law passes key test
State to conduct open-records seminars
Public safety briefs
Colerain Township upset by Rumpke's delay
Woodland Elementary administrator named
Once flush, now broke, city weighs tax increase
2 Butler County rape suspects skip court dates
Dayton focus group proves tough sell for both parties
Some did pass teaching test
Worker's death was electrocution

Bronson: Gay marriage debate stifled by more mush
Good Things Happening

Bill Bunis turned from tennis, became sociology professor
Frank Florence Jr. was Baptist minister

Budget tensions thaw as Fletcher, House leaders meet
Judge says he won't make Fletcher convene session
Staples gets first approval
Hayden criticized for China seminar
Obstacle course teaches teamwork
Covington hires ombudsman
Covington woman charged for false abduction report