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Ohio to Pay for Crime Victim's Dentures After Court Battle

A man who claims he lost his dentures after being attacked and beaten unconscious in 2011 is getting a new set on the State of Ohio's dime.

The decision, reached yesterday by the Court of Claims of Ohio, came after Ohio's attorney general rejected Jeffrey Childers' original claim for reparations, citing lack of documentation reports The Plain Dealer.

How did Childers manage to finally get his "teeth" back?

Reparations for Victims of Crime

In Ohio, victims of violent crime are able to apply for reparations for losses suffered as a result of that crime. After Childers was attacked in 2011 he sought reparations to pay for a new set of dentures. In his application, Childers claimed that he had removed his dentures prior to the attack, but that they could not be located afterwards.

Childers' application was denied by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, despite dentures being specifically mentioned as an "allowable expense" in the statute governing reparation awards. The Attorney General cited the lack of medical documentation in characterizing Childers' claim as "property loss," which isn't covered by the reparations program. However, in his appeal of the AG's decision, Childers testified that his dentures were more than 20 years old at the time they were lost and that he couldn't afford to see a doctor following the incident, let alone replace his dentures himself.

The Court of Claims ruled that Childers, who has been without dentures for more than three years, should be compensated in the amount needed to replace his dentures.

Reparations Funded by Restitution

The funds used for the reparations in Ohio's program come, at least in part, from restitution ordered paid by the perpetrators of crime.

Restitution is distinct from fines that may be ordered during criminal sentencing and a person convicted of a crime may be ordered to pay both. Whereas fines are intended to punish the perpetrator of a crime, restitution is intended to compensate victims of crime and their families for financial losses caused by a defendant's criminal acts.

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