JACKSON — A Jackson County man who hid out on the West Coast to avoid justice after raping a 4-year-old, has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

“Rape is a violation of the body, the mind and the soul, and its trauma has a lifetime impact on survivors,” Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said. “It is fitting that this predator will spend the rest of his days behind bars, he will molest no more children in no prison.”

Jackson County Common Pleas Court Judge Christopher J. Regan sentenced 38-year-old Jason Rowland to life in prison without the possibility of parole, and additionally issued a “no contact” order and a lifetime requirement to register as a Tier 3 sex offender.

On Friday, Aug. 20, Rowland had been convicted of one count of rape of a victim under the age of 10, a felony of the first degree, and one count of gross sexual imposition, a felony of the third degree.

The charges stemmed from 2012, when Rowland sexually assaulted a child and subsequently fled to Seattle. He was indicted in June 2019.

An investigation conducted by the Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation with assistance from the Seattle Police Department led to the discovery of Rowland’s location.

Authorities charged and arrested Rowland and then extradited him back to Ohio to answer for his crimes.

The Special Prosecutions Section of the Attorney General’s Office prosecuted the case.

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