by Kristin Casale

Reporter

Stow -- A Stow man convicted of gross sexual imposition involving two children under age 8 was sentenced to nine years in prison for the offense July 26.

According to a press release from the Summit County Prosecutor's Office, 21-year-old Christopher R. Burkhamer was sentenced by Summit County Court of Common Pleas Judge Brenda Burnham-Unruh on two counts of gross sexual imposition, both third-degree felonies.

Burkhamer, who pleaded guilty to the offenses April 25, received five years for the first count and four years for the second count, according to the release. The sentences will run consecutively.

Burkhamer's attorney, Donald Hicks, said, "I believe there is certainly hope that Christopher can be reformed. I was certainly taken aback by the length of the sentencing."

The press release states Burkhamer "fondled" and "sexually touched" the two children, ages 6 and 8, while he thought they were sleeping.

The U.S. Marshal's Service Northeast Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force arrested Burkhamer Jan. 4, according to a court document. Stow Police began investigating Burkhamer Dec. 21, 2006, when the children's mother filed a complaint with the police department.

Burnham-Unruh also classified Burkhamer as a sexual predator, according to the prosecutor's office.

Prosecutor's office spokes-person Lisa Holdt said this classification requires Burk-hamer to check in with the Summit County Sheriff's Office every 90 days, beginning the day he was sentenced, for the rest of his life.

He also must report any address changes with the sheriff's office if he moves to a new residence, according to Holdt.

E-mail: kcasale@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-686-3917