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Man accused of touching strangers’ belly buttons banned from Ohio campuses

AKRON, Ohio – Prosecutors say a 29-year-old Ohio man – accused of approaching women for the 10 years and trying to touch their belly buttons – should be sent to prison for violating his parole.

Graig Burrier, of Stow, pleaded guilty Wednesday in Summit County Common Pleas Court to violating his parole. He was placed on parole in 2012 after pleading guilty to a sexual battery charge. In that case, prosecutors say he told a woman he was pledging a fraternity and asked to touch her belly button.

“Since that time he has violated his probation numerous times,” said Brad Gessner, chief counsel for the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office. “He has not been successful on probation. He went to prison. He was given judicial release, and he continues to ignore and to violate the restrictions probation has placed on him.”

Gessner pointed to the recent violation, that happened this July in Stow.

“He chose again this year to go out and again to attempt to touch a woman’s belly button on the bike trail,” Gessner said.

According to a Stow 911 call and police report, obtained by WJW, the incident happened just south of Silver Springs Park.

“The male states he is rushing a fraternity and needed to ask her a few questions,” the report stated. “After the questions, the male stated he needed to touch her belly button.”

When the woman asked him what he would do if she said no, he said he would ask someone else. She then raised her shirt slightly and allowed him to touch her belly button.

“She stated he proceeded to get on a knee and used his index finger, pressing it, and circling his finger around the navel,” the police report states. “She stated it lasted for approximately a minute or so. After a few seconds, she asked him how much longer he would need and he stated, thirty more seconds."

Prosecutors say Burrier is banned from going to parks alone, and he is not allowed to go to the campuses of Kent State University or the University of Akron.

Gessner said prosecutors believe Burrier should be sent to prison for violating the terms of his probation again.

Burrier’s defense attorney, however, told the court that his client has autism and should go to a residential treatment facility.

But prosecutors insist Burrier does not have autism.

“He has a history of some developmental issues. He was in some special education classes, but he does not meet any of the diagnosis of the criteria to be classified as autistic,” Gessner said.

Neither Burrier nor his attorney responded to requests for comment.

Burrier is scheduled to be sentenced in February.