Darshan Singh, who previously pleaded guilty to charges after an incident where he allegedly exposed himself to two children in a garden area, was placed on five years community control in Columbiana County Common Pleas Court.
Through an interpreter, Darshan Singh, 63, who now lives in Streetsboro, addressed Judge C. Ashley Pike prior to sentencing.
“I did not want to hurt the kids in anyway,” Singh said through his interpreter Karter Singh, who is not related. “I am very sorry, and I ask forgiveness of the court…I will never do anything of this sort again.”
Singh had pleaded guilty in June to interference with custody and two counts of unlawful restraint. However, Assistant County Prosecutor Tammie Riley Jones noted there was still a sexual connotation to the charges, which were different from the ones with which Singh was initially charged. Singh will be required to register as a Tier I sexual offender.
The original charges, which will now be dismissed, were for assault, public indecency and two counts of attempted gross sexual imposition. Jones stated those charges alleged on Aug. 10, 2016, he exposed himself and reached for the arms of at least one of the children in an attempt to get them to touch him. He was further accused of pushing one of the children to the ground. The children ran from him and reported what happened.
Singh’s defense attorney Edward R. LaRue, thanked Jones and the prosecutor’s office for working toward the compromise. Besides having to register as a Tier I sexual offender, LaRue said Singh also will be facing a legal battle with the U.S. Immigration Department, who may try to expel him from the country and separate him from his wife and children.
Singh’s daughter, a registered nurse, said her father was a farmer in India and worked very hard to put her through college so she could become a nurse. She described her father as a religious man, who attends temple at least a couple times a week. She said her father taught her and her brother to be good kids and do no harm to anyone, stating they were shocked by what happened.
“This was very upsetting to me and my family,” she said. “This is truly not who my father is.”
LaRue stated besides raising productive children and being married for 35 years, Singh worked himself as a meat packer at Fresh Mark.
On the other side of the aisle, the parents of the children attended the hearing, but chose not to make any statements before sentencing. Pike said he trusts “in the long run that the young victims will have no long term effects.”
Pike said noted Singh’s has the support of his family and appears to be a man of faith. Additionally, he said he believed sending Singh to prison would present additional problems for the prison system. However, Pike warned Singh not to disappoint the court, noting if Singh fails to follow the terms of community control will be dealt with prison time.