CLEVELAND - The FOX 8 I TEAM has obtained exclusive video showing a man surrendering to police after sexually assaulting a child, and he did it even with the young victim in the backseat.
This case led the I TEAM to uncover an increasing number of sex assaults coming to light. However, the case of Mark Fry certainly stunned even veteran investigators with how it happened.
Fry’s case happened last year, but the court case is now closed, and the extraordinary video was released to the I TEAM.
Fry flagged down Richfield Police officers after driving around with the child. On the video, you can hear the officers saying, "I pulled in here and stopped. He pulled in here and said take me to jail. I did something really bad."
You also hear Fry interacting with police. He said, "I'm sick. I'm sick.” An officer then asked, "I understand you're sick. But what'd you do?" Fry, at one point, said, "I hurt her. In a way somebody should never be hurt.”
Cuyahoga County prosecutors handled the court case since it began in Cleveland. Prosecutors rarely see someone surrender as Fry did. But they have noticed an increase in sex assault cases leading to indictment, an estimated 25% over the last year (though figures are still being compiled). Cleveland Police stats show an increase in rape cases of more than 10% over the last year.
Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Jeff Schnatter said there could be many reasons for more victims coming forward. Among the reasons: national headlines. For instance, famous gymnasts standing up to a longtime doctor and sending him to prison. Schnatter said, "Obviously, there's a lot of news about victims of sex offenses coming forward. So I think there's a feeling of safety to come forward for victims.”
As for the man in that video flagging down a cop to turn himself in with his victim in the car, he may never get the chance to hurt another child. Mark Fry plead guilty at Cuyahoga County Court. He may never walk the streets again as he’s now serving a sentence in prison of 35 years to life.
County prosecutors point out they are doing more than ever to work with victims and make it easier for them to come forward.
Investigators also point out that sex assault cases can be among the toughest to prosecute. In fact, despite the video and the guilty plea, records show Mark Fry is appealing.