Man nabbed in Bettsville sex assault

A man was arrested Monday after being indicted on charges in connection to a sexual assault reported June 16 in Bettsville.

Dale L. Powell, 58, who was indicted last week by a Seneca County grand jury on charges of kidnapping, a first-degree felony; abduction, a third-degree felony; and gross sexual imposition, a fourth-degree felony, was arrested Monday evening after he was discharged from a hospital, according to Seneca County Sheriff’s Office reports.

June 16, a 16-year-old girl reported a man approached her and groped her as she walking along a creek area in Bettsville. The girl was able to fend off the man with a stick and the man then fled in a minivan.

The girl told law enforcement the man had been using crutches when he approached her, but it didn’t appear he needed them.

“It’s sad that it’s come to a time where we cannot feel safe about our children going for a walk around the block and relaxing at a favorite spot,” said Detective Sgt. Kevin Reinbolt of the Seneca County Sheriff’s Office. “They will come up with just about any ploy to lure the children closer.”

“We are lucky our victim was able to think fast and one more dangerous person is off the street,” Reinbolt said.

He said Powell, whose last known address is Port Clinton, is a registered sex offender in Ottawa County.

Powell had his bond set at $500,000 Tuesday by Seneca County Common Pleas Court Judge Steve Shuff, a court spokeswoman said.

According to his indictment, if convicted of the charges, Powell faces up to 15-and-a-half years in prison and a fine of up to $35,000.