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Cuyahoga Falls -- A city police officer and detective were honored by the Summit County prosecutor for their part in putting a child rapist behind bars.
Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh named Officer Alan Pipes and Detective Kevin Lohse December's Top Cops. Pipes and Lohse were prominently featured in her newsletter "News from the Criminal Division" and issued certificates of merit by the Prosecutor's Office.
Michael LoPresti, a polygraph examiner from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, was also honored by the prosecutor. All three men were nominated by assistant county prosecutors Justin Richard and Dustin Roth.
"This case illustrates a perfect example of a municipal police department working in harmony with a state agency and a county office with excellent results," Walsh said. "The hard work and thorough investigation conducted by Officer Pipes, Detective Lohse and Michael LoPresti resulted in multiple confessions and a plea agreement, thus sparing the victim and her mother the agony of a trial."
Last June, Falls police responded to a report of sexual abuse involving a 5-year-old girl, according to the article in the newsletter. The girl's mother knew the alleged abuser, Richard J. Frederick Jr., who was 24 at the time and living in Cuyahoga Falls.
When Pipes located Frederick in Streetsboro, Frederick initially denied the allegations and volunteered to take a polygraph to clear his name. According to the newsletter, LoPresti reminded Frederick that the test would indicate whether he was lying. At that point, before LoPresti even started the polygraph, authorities say Frederick confessed to raping the girl multiple times over a four-month period, the newsletter stated.
Later, while being interviewed by Lohse, Frederick again confessed. This time, however, Frederick provided more details, according to the newsletter.
"After multiple confessions obtained by two law enforcement agencies, Frederick was left with no choice but to admit to his crimes," the article in the newsletter stated. "He pleaded guilty to rape and gross sexual imposition the morning his trial was scheduled to begin [Dec. 3]."
Frederick was sentenced to life in prison, as reported by the Cuyahoga Falls News-Press Dec. 4. He will be eligible for parole after serving at least 25 years in prison.
"We were able to put together a good case and make someone go to prison, which was good," said Pipes, a Stow native who has been with the Cuyahoga Falls Police Department for 15 years. Currently assigned to the department's patrol division, he had previously worked in the detective bureau. He and Lohse were partners then.
Their investigation took about a month, said Lohse, who is originally from Webster, N.Y., and also has 15 years on the job. "It was a very smooth case," he said. "We put together a pretty solid case that made it easy for prosecution."
"Typically, this type of case takes a long time," said Pipes. "This one was unique. It moved fairly rapidly. The catalyst for that was the young age of the child."
He said he and Lohse worked with Summit County Children Services and the Care Center at Akron Children's Hospital during their investigation.
"These two officers are quite deserving of this recognition by Prosecutor Walsh," said Police Chief Tom Pozza. "Because of the great police work demonstrated by them, a child sexual predator is behind bars for a long, long time."