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A beautiful life taken too soon, a family left hurting and students at the Ohio State University left afraid, as yet another tragedy haunts the city that has served as my home for the past seven years.
Reagan Tokes was only 21 years old, and just months away from graduating from Ohio State, when her life was cut short.
Brian Lee Golsby, just released from prison in November, was under GPS monitoring when he was accused of kidnapping Reagan, who was walking to her car after her shift at a local Columbus restaurant.
Golsby has been charged with kidnapping, rape, aggravated robbery and aggravated murder, all first-degree felonies. He is eligible to receive the death penalty.
Yet, the reality remains that regardless of whether or not Golsby is found guilty and receives the death penalty, Reagan is not coming back. After years of hard work, she will not have the opportunity to graduate from college. She will never again be able to go home to her family. She will never be able to fall in love and get married. She will never be able to witness her little sister Makenzie graduate from high school and begin college.
In July of 2010, Golsby committed his first crime on record. The next day, he was arrested and later pled guilty to attempted theft, a first-degree misdemeanor. At the time, he had also been charged with two other fifth-degree felonies that were later dropped. Shortly after being charged, he was back on the street and his criminal behavior began to escalate.
In November of 2010, Golsby raped a young woman in her car while her toddler watched. He pled guilty to robbery and attempted rape, both second-degree felonies. At the time, he had also been charged with eight additional charges ranging from first- to third-degree felonies that were all later dropped by the prosecution.
In all, Golsby ended up with two six-year sentences for his crimes. Instead of serving these six-year sentences back to back, the prosecution allowed him to serve them at the same time. Thus, for his horrible crimes, Golsby served a mere six years in prison, leading to his November 2016 release and the accusation of the February 2017 death of Reagan Tokes.
If the prosecutor had pursued suspect to the fullest extent of the law or the judge in the case had rejected the plea offer, Golsby would likely still be locked up. Reagan would likely still be alive today. Unfortunately, the criminal justice system treated Golsby the way that many leftists desire by dealing leniently; thus, eroding the progress of commonsense tough-on-crime laws that have been passed by our elected officials.
Justice for Reagen starts by looking at the lack of justice for Golsby’s first victims. We cannot let this happen anymore. We should be engaging in a war on crime and cracking down on repeat offenders to prevent further tragedy from occurring.
It is time to take a hard look at our criminal justice system and the sentencing that made it possible for this monster to be back on the street.
Reagan Tokes is now a memory in the lives of the many she positively influenced during her 21 years on this Earth.
A GoFundMe account has been created in Reagan’s honor and will be used to create a scholarship in her name for aspiring college students.
• Madison Gesiotto is the former Regional Press Secretary for the 58th Presidential Inaugural Committee and a political commentator who appears frequently on Fox News Channel. She is currently in the final year of pursuing her J.D. at The Michael E. Moritz College of Law at Ohio State University. You can reach her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter: @madisongesiotto.
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