A South Carolina truck driver was sentenced to 30 years in prison Thursday for sexually assaulting a woman and holding her against her will on the side of the Ohio Turnpike in Hudson.
Anthony Ingram, 33, was convicted of kidnapping by a federal jury in Akron after a weeklong trial in October.
He claims to be innocent and plans to appeal.
U.S. District Court Judge Sara Lioi sentenced Ingram Thursday to three decades behind bars, followed by five years of supervised release.
Prosecutors say Ingram, a cross-country truck driver from Travelers Rest, South Carolina, lured an Alabama woman into his rig in Michigan by promising her a ride to Indiana to retrieve her vehicle. He instead then drove in the opposite direction toward Maryland, claiming he would take her to Indiana after delivering a shipment.
Ingram, though, pulled his truck off the side of the turnpike in Hudson on Aug. 10, 2018, and sexually assaulted the woman while threatening her with a weapon, authorities said.
The woman escaped from Ingram at a truck stop in Lima and called 911 from a restaurant. Police responded to the scene and Ingram fled in his truck, prosecutors say.
GPS records showed Ingram stopped 15 miles down the road. FBI and Ohio State Highway Patrol investigators found the woman’s clothing and cellphone discarded where Ingram stopped, prosecutors say.
Ingram continued driving and was later arrested in Pennsylvania.
The FBI, Ohio and Pennsylvania highway patrols and the Beaver Township Police Department investigated, with assistance from the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office.
Ingram was originally charged in Summit County with rape and kidnapping, but his case was dismissed because of a speedy-trial issue. He was then indicted in federal court in May.
Federal prosecutors suggested Lioi impose a prison sentence between 30 years and life.
"A sentence in that range is deserved and appropriate," Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter Daly said in his sentencing memorandum.
Daly is a former assistant Summit County prosecutor.
Larry Whitney, Ingram’s attorney, suggested a lesser sentence. He noted that the weapon Ingram was accused of using to threaten the woman was a BB gun and not an actual gun.
Whitney said Ingram continues to deny wrongdoing. He said Ingram says when the woman figured out he wasn’t taking her where she wanted to go, she retaliated by accusing him of rape.
"He says he didn’t do what she said he did," Whitney said. "He still persists his innocence. He didn’t rape this woman."
Stephanie Warsmith can be reached at 330-996-3705, email@example.com and on Twitter: @swarsmithabj.