Piqua man sentenced to five years in prison for sex offense

By Sam Wildow

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TROY — A Piqua man was sentenced on Thursday to serve at least five years in prison for a sex offense involving a 13-year-old girl.

Tommy L. Arnett, 36, of Piqua, was sentenced to serve a minimum of five years in prison, with a possible maximum sentence of seven and a half years, for second-degree felony endangering children in Miami County Common Pleas Court. According to the indictment against Arnett, he was charged in connection with coercing an underage victim to be photographed for, or otherwise participate in the production of, sexually-oriented material. The incident took place on or around Oct. 18, 2020 in the city of Troy. Arnett has been incarcerated in the Miami County Jail since Oct. 21, 2020.

“He understands he made a mistake,” said Arnett’s attorney Michael P. Brush. Brush added this case had “been a long process,” and he was the third attorney to represent Arnett.

“I’m truly sorry,” Arnett said to the court on Thursday. He said he wanted to get involved in a drug program when he got to prison and get a “better sense” of his life.

Assistant county prosecutor Matt Joseph asked the court to follow the joint recommendation between the state and the defense for a five-year prison term for Arnett, which is the minimum amount of prison time required for this charge.

Miami County Common Pleas Court Judge Jeannine Pratt went over Arnett’s criminal history, stating it was “rather lengthy.” His juvenile record began in 1997 with charges of unauthorized use of property and probation violations. As an adult, he was found guilty of charges including disorderly conduct, assault, criminal trespassing, failure to comply, escape, telecommunications harassment, possession of a controlled substance, domestic violence, trafficking drugs, unauthorized use of a vehicle, attempted child endangering, harassment by inmate, and unlawful restraint. In total, Arnett has six felony convictions and four prior prison terms.

“He has a consistent history of violence,” Pratt said. She added that Arnett has also “not responded favorably to sanctions.”

“I don’t believe he demonstrates genuine remorse,” Pratt said.

Pratt went on to say the victim suffered severe psychological harm from the incident. Arnett also had a relationship with the victim and the victim’s family, which facilitated the incident.

“You continue to make bad choices,” Pratt said.

Arnett received a jail credit of approximately 436 days. Once he is released from prison, Arnett will have to undergo five years of mandatory post release control. Arnett will also be labeled a tier II sex offender, meaning he has to register for 25 years and provide in-person verification with the sheriff of his county of residence every 180 days.