BUCYRUS - A man police believe raped a 4-month-old might not be competent to stand trial, his lawyer told a judge Thursday.
Adam W. Gunter, 38, of Galion, was charged with first-degree felony rape after the baby was taken to Galion Community Hospital on Dec. 17, according to Crawford County Prosecutor Matt Crall.
Crall said the baby was in the custody of her grandmother, who lived in Galion with the infant, Gunter and two other men. Police don't believe Gunter is related to the infant.
On Dec. 17, the grandmother left the house to attend an event in Galion, leaving the baby in the care of the three men.
"One of the individuals was sleeping," Crall said. "The other individual said he doesn’t like kids and didn’t want to be left in charge of the kid."
Gunter was left with the baby, Crall said. He told police he had been feeding her a bottle before going to the bathroom and when he came back, there was blood running from her nose.
Crall said it was about 9 p.m. when doctors at the Galion hospital examined the baby. They found severe injuries in the baby's mouth, and decided the infant should be taken immediately to Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus.
"There were burn marks around the neck that Children's Hospital told us were due to some chemical or burn — it could have been scalding water," Crall said. "There were some other injuries to the child that the hospital found consistent with a child that had been abused."
By the afternoon of Dec. 18, police had arranged for everyone who lived with baby to come in for questioning. Crall said Gunter spoke to officers on Dec. 19.
Gunter admitted to police he had sexual contact with the baby, Crall said. Police arrested him immediately.
"We probably wouldn’t have made an arrest until we had that admission," Crall said.
The man's attorney, Adam Stone, told Crawford County Municipal Judge Shane Leuthold on Thursday that Gunter can't even comprehend what he did, or why it was wrong — he may not even understand how the court system operates. Stone asked that the man be evaluated by doctors at the District Five Forensic Center in Mansfield. Leuthold granted the request.
"In order to stand trial, he has to be able to comprehend what the role of the judge is, the role of the prosecutor and the attorney," Crall said. "It’s usually two to three weeks to a month before we get them back."
Crall said Gunter is being held at the Crawford County Justice Center in lieu of a $500,000 bond. Nothing else can happen until Gunter is both evaluated, and indicted by a grand jury. Until then, the baby is not going home.
"The baby is in the custody of children's’ services," Crall said. "To my knowledge, the injuries were not life-threatening."
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