Accused rapist in process of adopting 4th child in alleged rape, prostitution case

Date: 2012-03-01

Agencies studying charges against adoptive dad, 2 other men.

By Kelli Wynn, Lou Grieco and Mark Gokavi

TROY — A Troy man who adopted three children and was in the process of adopting a fourth, is accused of raping his three children and allowing other men to have sex with at least one of them.

Kenneth H. Brandt, 39, is charged with three counts of rape and one count of compelling prostitution. He is being held in Miami County Jail on $800,000 bond.

Police said Brandt was one of at least three men who were the subjects of an Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force investigation. The other men — Jason Zwick, 29, of Beavercreek and Patrick Rieder, 31, of Dayton — also are in jail, facing felony charges.

“We’re hoping that we don’t have any other (victims) and we hope that we have stopped this before it got any further,” Troy Police Capt. Chris Anderson said.

Meanwhile, state and local agencies have launched separate investigations into the child abuse allegations and the adoption process.

“Anytime there are allegations of child abuse, especially to the extent this is, it’s heartbreaking for the children,” June Cannon, executive director of Miami County Children’s Services, said Tuesday. “We’re in this to make sure children stay safe.”

Ohio Department of Job and Family Services will review how the adoption took place, a spokesman said.

“We are absolutely pulling the paperwork from this case and staff is looking through it,” said Ben Johnson of ODJFS. “The allegations are heinous, horrific, awful.”

Brandt has adopted three children — a 9-year-old girl and three boys, ages 9, 10 and 12, according to authorities. The adoption of a fourth has not been finalized. The children — who are not all birth siblings — were adopted in 2011 from Texas via a private adoption agency.

Brandt had removed the girl from the Troy school system on Jan. 2 and two of the boys Feb. 13, according Troy City Schools Superintendent Eric Herman.

“It’s disbelief, sadness, sorrow,” Herman said of the allegations. “It hits home, you know.”

One of the boys in Brandt’s home said that Brandt had allowed Rieder and Zwick to have sex with him, according to a police report.

On Friday, Troy police were contacted by a representative from the Franklin County ICACT. Police were told that Brandt had been communicating online with an undercover detective and was making arrangements to allow the detective to have sex with a 10-year-old boy on Sunday.

That same detective had chatted online with two men who were claiming to have had sex with the boy.

Troy investigators executed a search warrant Friday at Brandt’s house. Police found Brandt and the children at his parents’ home, also in Troy.

During questioning, Brandt admitted having sex with the 10-year-old about 10 times, according to the report. He also told police that Zwick had sex with the boy, but denied Rieder’s involvement.

The boy initially told police that he didn’t want to tell them anything because he was afraid he would be taken away from his home and separated from his new brothers and sister.

But when police asked him to help them protect his siblings, he wept. He told police he had sex — spelling out the word — with Rieder and Zwick.

He said Brandt had sex with him two to three times a week since he had arrived at the home.

The two other boys also told police that Brandt had sex with them.

The 9-year-old boy said it started about two weeks after the boy arrived from Texas.

Zwick was arrested Tuesday. No charges had been filed against Rieder late Tuesday, but he is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday. A preliminary hearing for Brandt is scheduled for March 6.

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