Man sentenced to prison


TROY — A Troy man has been sentenced to nearly a decade in prison, on Wednesday, Nov. 22, when he appeared in the Miami County Court of Common Pleas for pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor and possessing drugs while on post release control.

Vernon W. Auten, 37, was sentenced by Judge Stacy M. Wall, who accepted his guilty plea in court Wednesday, to serve 18 months in prison on four individual charges of pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor; and an additional 24 months in prison on one charge of aggravated possession of drugs.

Auten was also ordered to pay a $5,000 fine, plus court costs, submit a DNA specimen, will be mandated to post release control for a period of five years, and is required to register as a tier II sex offender for a period of 25 years, each subsequent 180 days, after he is released from prison.

The time in prison on each charge is to be served consecutively.

Auten was indicted by a Miami County grand jury on Jan. 11, 2023, on eight counts of pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor after he was accused of on or about Oct. 24, 2021, “with the knowledge of the character of the material or performance involved, create, record, photograph, film, develop, reproduce, or publish material that shows minors participating or engaging in sexual activity, masturbation, or bestiality in violation of Ohio Revised Code.”

According to court documents, a consecutive sentence is necessary for punishment due to the seriousness of Auten’s conduct and due to the danger he poses to the public.

“The videos (Auten) possessed weren’t just videos where the victims were unknown. They were all of very young girls. At the time the videos were discovered, (Auten) was in a hotel room with an underage girl, using drugs, while on post release control and with his whereabouts unknown as a sex offender,” said the court document.

Court documents say it was indicated in court that the defendant (Auten) was using his phone to record the minor in sex acts while in the hotel room, without her knowledge. Additionally, he has three convictions for failure to notify. The offenses were from October 2021 to October 2022, and a year after being in the hotel room with the minor, the Defendant (Auten) continued to fail to comply with registration requirements of the Miami County Common Pleas Court.

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