AKRON -- Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh said Bearl Penix, 67, of Akron, pleaded guilty to two counts of rape, felonies of the first degree; attempted rape, a felony of the second degree; and attempted gross sexual imposition, a felony of the fourth degree.
Penix sexually abused four girls over the past 15 years. He knew all of the girls through family members.
The fourth girl came forward after 15 years when she learned about Penix's arrest on the news. A fifth victim came forward during the investigation, but that crime was not prosecuted because the abuse happened more than 30 years ago, which is beyond the statute of limitations.
Judge Mary Margaret Rowlands immediately sentenced Penix to life in prison. He will first be eligible for parole at the age of 77.