Local doctor pleads not guilty in sex case involving minors

by DAVE O'BRIEN | RECORD-COURIER REPORTER Published:

Ravenna -- A Bainbridge doctor and Aurora resident who allegedly sexually abused at least two children over the past two decades and also allegedly possessed child pornography pleaded not guilty last week to 24 felony charges brought against him by Aurora and Kent police.

Dr. Mark B. Shaffer Jr., 79, entered the plea at his arraignment in Portage County Common Pleas Court. Judge John Enlow set bond at 10 percent of $1 million and set a trial date for Jan. 23.

A Portage County grand jury handed down a 24-count indictment on Dec. 7, charging Shaffer with two counts of rape and one count of kidnapping, all first-degree felonies, 11 counts of gross sexual imposition, all third-degree felonies, and 10 counts of pandering obscenity involving a minor, all fourth-degree felonies. Specifications to the indictment could result in Shaffer getting a life sentence if convicted.

One of the victims was a 12-year-old boy, whom Shaffer allegedly abused between June and August 2008, according to his indictment. Other incidents allegedly involved a female between the ages of 5 and 9 when she allegedly was sexually abused by Shaffer between November 1996 and November 2000, according to his indictment.

Kent police detectives assisted in the investigation because one of the victims is a Kent resident, according to Aurora police.

U.S. Postal Inspection Service agents and Aurora police served a federal search warrant on Shaffer's Windward Drive home on Nov. 28, according to Aurora police. The investigation came about as part of a probe into Shaffer's alleged possession of child pornography.

Numerous pornographic videos of children allegedly were found in Shaffer's residence. His office on Washington Street in Bainbridge Township also was searched, but no evidence of criminal activity was found, according to police.

In subsequent interviews, Shaffer allegedly told investigators he had been sexually abusing children for several years, according to Aurora police.

The investigation is continuing, and additional charges are possible. The Aurora Police Department is coordinating the investigation, and anyone with information on Shaffer is asked to call 330-562-8181.

Email: dobrien@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9400 ext. 4157

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