November 28, 2014

Partly cloudy

WATCH: Joseph Allen sent back to prison in Head Start case

ELYRIA — A sobbing Joseph Allen was led out a Lorain County courtroom in handcuffs today after being ordered back to prison in the controversial Head Start child molestation case.

An agreement between Allen and prosecutors imposes a new sentence of 10 to 25 years in prison for Allen. He will get credit for time he’s already served.


Joseph Allen was ordered back to prison Oct. 1, 2013. THE CHRONICLE-TELEGRAM/BRUCE BISHOP

Allen, who has a prior criminal record, was originally sentenced to consecutive life prison terms.

Allen’s attorney, K. Ronald Bailey, said the new deal is far better for his client than the original sentence.

Allen’s codefendant, former Head Start Bus driver Nancy Smith, accepted that she had been convicted during a similar hearing in June. She was sentenced to 12 years in prison, less time than the nearly 15 years she actually spent behind bars before being released by Lorain County Common Pleas Judge James Burge in 2009.

Burge acquitted both Smith and Allen after reviewing the evidence against them from their 1994 trial and concluding they had been wrongly convicted. Those rulings were later overturned on appeal, although the pair, who have long maintained their innocence, have remained free since 2009.

Both Smith and Allen have applied for executive clemency from Ohio Gov. John Kasich. The Ohio Parole Board has suggested Kasich deny both clemency requests.

Read Wednesday’s Chronicle for more on this story.

  • Pam McMllan

    This is an outrage! He and Nancy Smith are both innocent victims of this mockery of the justice system. The only difference here is that Joseph did not get the support that Nancy did. I think we all know why that is and that makes this even more of a shame!!

    • Sue

      so true

    • Denise Caruloff

      I am just sick of this whole thing…this crime never ever happened…I called Jonas in Washington to give him the latest…that lineup tape said it all….I hope karma is swift. Where’s Jessie Jackson re: this black man?

  • Shelley Miller

    and we wonder why people don’t trust our judicial system!!!! Shame on the prosecutors office. Such an injustice!!!!!!!

    • Jesus fan

      I agree our judicial system is a mess both federal and state. You have people behind bars that don’t deserve to be there and the ones that need to be there are out walking our streets. Come on lets protect the innocent and punish the ones who actually need it and get a slap on the wrist and sent home like they are in kindergarden.

  • mdr12372

    Horrible….what a disgrace. How can some of these prosecutors sleep at night?

  • Robert B Chatelle

    The National Center for Reson and Justice will continue to do all we can to support Joseph. For a review of the case, check this article at our web site:

  • JoAnn Hullman Porter

    I agree this is just terrible. How do you folks sleep at night?

  • Nancy Derenberger Grob

    I cant believe this. Such an injustice. This man should be free.

  • Denise Caruloff

    you tell me he was not railroaded along with nancy…you fricken tell me that anyone could walk away from such an atrocity…be sure to watch all three…1 of 3.. 2 of 3 and 3 of 3…

  • qwe123

    This just sickens me, and breaks my heart. Where is Margie Grondin who concocted this whole lie? She took the California Head Start molestation case and saw dollar signs. What mother puts her daughter through such an ordeal and destroys the lives of 2 innocent people? What a monster! But hey, she got her $1.2 million and we haven’t heard from her since. Shame on the detectives who were so power hungry to get a conviction in light of no evidence or no crime! Disgusting!
    My prayers are with Joseph Allen. Something Has to be done to help this innocent man!

    • Denise Caruloff

      it’s done. he agreed no wrongful imprisonment or civil suit…etc…greed…power…mongrels of the nite. I think I would take my own life before I took another’s. May the devil remember each of your faces..i never thought I could hate this much…and I sure have had plenty of opportunities.

    • therest_ofthestory

      Living it up in Westlake! Look at the children from that….look at how messed up they are! This was a BS case from the start! Jonathan Rosenbaum should have his license pulled! He thought he was going to make a name for himself….well, there is karma……

  • Jackie Thomas

    We need to REALLY be careful who we put into office and trust OUR OWN LIVES with anymore….you see what they did to these two people…(darn shame…and those were NOT my words of choice)

    • Jesus fan

      Innoccent people getting convicted everyday. We just need to pray that god sees the truth in all this as a matter of fact he does and may these lives be restored.

  • Stephen Philion

    Being a prosecutor is never having to admit you were wrong.

  • Larry Crnobrnja

    There’s a special place in hell for the people responsible for this miscarriage of justice. Hopefully they get there sooner rather than later.

  • Naomi Kropp

    i dont say this ever but how many of you think this may be the biggest case of racial prejudice ever, you think if this was a little old white guy the same thing would’ve happened?