Man sentenced to six years in rape case

STEUBENVILLE – A man who claimed a demon took over his body pleaded guilty to rape and was sentenced to six years in prison on Wednesday by Jefferson County Common Pleas Judge Joseph Bruzzese Jr.

Donald Sulzer, 26, of 134 Belmont Court, Toronto, was charged in connection with the June 17 rape of a then 18-year-old woman in Toronto.

County Assistant Prosecutor Edward Littlejohn told Bruzzese that Sulzer claimed his body was taken over by a demon when he put a T-shirt over the victim’s head and held a knife to her neck during the rape.

DNA evidence collected from a rape kit and the victim’s clothing came back as Sulzer’s, according to court records.

“I wasn’t thinking straight and forced someone to do something they didn’t want to do,” Sulzer said.

Sulzer initially pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, but a competency test determined he was able to assist in his own defense.

Bruzzese ruled that Sulzer is a Tier III sex offender, requiring him to report his address to the county sheriff’s department every 90 days for life. The judge also said Sulzer will be on mandatory five years of parole after his release from prison.