One night, as a 6-year-old girl slept in her bed, James J.J. Boyd stepped into her room and molested her.
Boyd, 40, admitted Monday to touching the girl in April 2005. He was sentenced by Superior Court Judge John Allen to seven years in prison, followed by five on probation, in a plea agreement between prosecutors and the defense.
"He was given a sexual predator designation, which means he'll have to register for life," said Assistant District Attorney LaRae Moore.
Boyd lived with the girl's mother in his 10th Street home, though the victim was in the custody of others most of the time. On one particular night, however, she stayed with Boyd while the mother wasn't there.
"While she was in the bed sleeping was when he got into her bed," Moore said. "She told right away."
The victim told an older sister and aunt, leading the mother to confront Boyd. Moore said Boyd then fled to Florida, though M. Scott Phillips, who represents him, said that wasn't the case.
"It wasn't a situation where a warrant had been issued, law enforcement was hot on his trail," Phillips said. "The term 'fled' is kind of loaded, in my opinion."
Boyd was arrested in December 2005 in Jackson, Fla. He was returned to Columbus, where he spent about 14 months in jail before making bond.
Phillips said sentences must be balanced between the severity of the crime and the accused. His client, he said, had no previous criminal record and had served in the military.
"I think it's a good sentence," Moore said. "We always want more, but nothing is guaranteed."