Cuyahoga County

Berea man sentenced for rape of Soviet-era labor camp survivor


CLEVELAND, Ohio — A Berea man will spend the next quarter-century in prison for the rape of an 81-year-old woman who survived a Soviet-era labor camp as a child.

Jason Farmer, 30, stood and watched Thursday as the woman described the gruesome incident and how it has affected her in the twilight of her life, which included watching as a young child as Nazis kill her father and her time spent as a teenager in a Siberian labor camp.

Cuyahoga County Judge Deena Calabrese sentenced Farmer, who previously pleaded guilty to rape, kidnapping and aggravated burglary in the Feb. 11 attack. Farmer is now a Tier III sex offender, meaning he must report his address to the county sheriff every 90 days for the rest of his life once he's released from prison.

"In all my years as a county prosecutor and now judge, this is one of the most brutal rapes I've ever seen," Calabrese said.

The woman said during the hearing that she knew Farmer who often took walks around her neighborhood. She used to give him a $1 or $2 when he asked because she felt sorry for him.

Farmer knocked on the woman's door at her Berea apartment. The woman opened the door, but refused to let him inside. He forced his way into the apartment, cutting the woman's forearm as she tried to slam the door shut.

Farmer picked her up and threw her over his shoulder "like potatoes," the woman said. He carried her to her bedroom and raped her.

The woman offered Farmer all her money to stop. He did, and took $7. Farmer then told the woman to not tell anyone about the incident.

The woman said she was too scared to report the incident but eventually told a neighbor, who convinced her to go to the hospital. Berea police interviewed Farmer, who denied responsibility.

DNA from the sexual-assault kit matched Farmer, whose DNA was in the national database because of three prior theft-related felony convictions. Police confronted him with the new evidence and he confessed.

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