Rapist gets life sentence

ST. CLAIRSVILLE A three-year case involving the rape of a child was closed Monday when Jared Luke Tittle, 40, 325 21st St., Bellaire, appeared before Belmont County Common Pleas Judge Jennifer L. Sargus.

He was given the mandatory sentence of life without the possibility of parole for 10 years. He was given credit for 906 days. He was designated a Tier 3 offender.

Two weeks prior Tittle had pleaded guilty to rape of a child younger than 13, but older than 10, a felony of the first degree occurring Sept. 10, 2010. In 2011 he was arraigned on two counts of rape of a child younger than 10.

Assistant Prosecutor Scott Lloyd acknowledged the seriousness of the offenses.

“They speak for themselves. They are despicable,” he said, thanking law enforcement for their work in investigating the matter.

Prosecutor Chris Berhalter noted the three year process leading to the final day in court.

“(Tittle) has filed numerous motions including requests for evaluations to determine his competency and sanity,” he said, adding that justice was served in this case. “Some may believe that a sentence of life in prison is too harsh, but I firmly believe that anyone who would rob a child of their innocence deserves such a sentence.”

Berhalter said the case came to light when Tittle was discovered online discussing his activities. The Sexual Predator Internet Initiative Task Force was involved in the investigation.

Tittle’s wife, Barbara, is charged with permitting child abuse, a felony of the third degree. The case is still pending.

DeFrank can be reached at rdefrank@timesleaderonline.com