A 77-year-old man has been accused of raping his own stepgranddaughter after police say she recorded the sexual assault on video and posted the recordings to Snapchat.
James Allen, of Marblehead, was arrested by Danbury Township Police on August 8 and charged with rape, The Toledo Blade reports.
Ottawa County Prosecutor James VanEerten told the Associated Press the video clearly shows a sexual assault taking place. VanEerten said it is not known if the 20-year-old victim streamed the video live on Snapchat or if she posted the video shortly after. The woman was intoxicated, police said.
“The most upsetting thing about this is that this is her stepgrandfather,” Danbury Township Police Chief Michael Meisler told BuzzFeed News. “He married her biological grandmother. He was the one who provided her with the alcohol that evening.”
Allen, who goes by the name Denny Allen, is being held at the Ottawa County Detention Center on $1 million bail. He appeared in Ottawa County Municipal Court on August 9 and told a judge he did not have an attorney, but planned to hire one, according to the AP. Rape is a first-degree felony, which carries a potential sentence of 3 to 11 years in prison. It is not clear when his next court appearance will be.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Police Say They Found the Victim Intoxicated, but Fine, During a Welfare Check
Danbury Police were first called to a home to check on the welfare of the 20-year-old victim about 1 a.m. after they received a call from a man in Texsa who wanted them to check on her, Police Chief Michael Meisler told BuzzFeed News.
Meisler said the officers found the victim “intoxicate,” but she seemed fine.” He told BuzzFeed that the officers did not see anything strange and they were satisfied that the woman was safe, so they left.
Ottawa County Prosecutor James VanEerten said the officers also spoke to James Allen during the initial call, The Toledo Blade reports.
2. The Friend Then Called Police Again to Say He Received 2 Videos Showing the Sexual Assault & Police Returned to Arrest Allen
Police then returned to the home to arrest James Allen after the Texas man called again and said his friend had sent him two Snapchat videos showing her being sexually assaulted, county prosecutor James VanEerten told The Toledo Blade. VanEerten said it is not clear when the sexual assault happened, but he said they believe it occurred between the two calls.
VanEerten said the video clearly showed a sexual assault.
Detective Sergeant Mark Meisler told the Port Clinton News Herald that he would not comment on what exactly was depicted in the Snapchat videos, but described them as very “clear.” He said the officers arrested Allen about 6 a.m. Tuesday after returning to the home. Meisler said Allen “did cooperate with the investigation,” according to the News Herald.
Detectives also interviewed the victim and she was examined at a local hospital, police said.
3. Allen, Who Has Also Lived in Texas & Florida Is a Businessman Who Has Started or Helped Run Boot, Boat, Oil, Cruiseship Car & Military Parts Companies
Denny Allen has previously lived in Florida and Texas, and has worked as an executive at several businesses, according to his Linkedin profile. “I am available for management consulting on either a short term or long term basis. My experiance in establishing, building and managing companies of all types and sizes can make me valuable to aid in start-ups to avoid pitfalls.And for established companies with problems I will review, analyze and recommend possible changes that can redirect the company to a profitable course,” he writes on the page.
Allen helped start the Larry Mahan Boot Company in El Paso, Texas, in 1973. “From start-up built a western boot manufacturing company that had 400 employees, made 700 pairs of handmade boots daily with gross revenues in excess of $55 million per year,” he wrote on Linkedin.
He currently works at Bay Point Resort in Marblehead, Ohio, according to his Facebook page.
He was then the president and CEO of Club Nautico, where he “From start-up built a boat rental company that within 3 years had 600 boats operating in 55 locations and with over 10,000 dues paying members. Sold to Fortune 500 company, OMC, Inc.” Allen then got into the oil business, working as the president of Sierra Oil Company in Central Texas from 1987 to 1990 and as the chairman and CEO of the Riley Drilling Company in Big Spring, Texas, from 1990 to 1996. At Riley he “purchased and operated 28 oil field related companies with over $225 million in annual gross revenues until sale in late 1996.”
He has also been a consultant for Seascape Cruises, the president of Atlantic Auto Trading and director of finance for King Auto Group, all in Florida. He was the chief financial office rof St. Tropez Casino Cruises from 2003 to 2006 and the president and CEO of Military Parts Exchange, LLC, where he, “took 35 million individual military aircraft parts and established a manageble inventory with shelving, data base and warehousing. Set up operations, sales force, warehouse personnel and operations management.”
4. He Does Not Appear to Have a Criminal Record Beyond Traffic Offenses
Allen is originally from San Angelo, Texas, where he graduated from high school in 1958, according to his Facebook page. Along with San Angelo and Marblehead, Ohio, Allen has lived in several Texas cities, including Keller, Dallas, Frankston, Midland and Knickerbocker, and in Florida, including in Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale, according to public records.
He does not appear to have a criminal record beyond traffic offenses, public records show.
Allen received speeding tickets in Fort Lauderdale in 2009 and 2010, and a red light ticket in the same city in 2014. He was arrested on a failure to appear charge in Dallas in 1994 in a traffic-related case, but the outcome and details of that case were not immediately available.
5. The Video Helped Police Make the Arrest, but Prosecutors Are Asking People to Delete & Not Share the Video
The victim helped police make an arrest by recording the sexual assault, but it is not clear if she did it on purpose or because she was intoxicated, Police Chief Michael Meisler told BuzzFeed News. He said however it happened, “she was able to capture the disturbing incident.”
Prosecutor James VanEerten told The Toledo Blade he is also not sure why she made the video, but thinks it was to create a record of the incident. “It’s obviously horrific, but at least it allowed us to put a stop to the situation and make a quick arrest in this case,” VanEerten told the newspaper.
VanEerten urged those who received the video to delete it immediately so as not to re-victimize the 20-year-old woman. He said investigators already have a copy of the video. He is also asking that people not share the video on social media.