An 18-year-old Powell man who had been accused of rape has pleaded guilty to an abduction charge and a charge of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material.
The rape charges against Nathan Michael James Deering, 18, of 10091 Juliana Circle, Powell, were dismissed during a change of plea hearing Friday before Delaware County Common Pleas Judge Everett Krueger.
At the hearing, Deering entered a guilty plea to a charge of abduction, a third-degree felony, and a charge of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material, a fifth-degree felony.
Deering had originally been indicted on two counts of rape, which are first-degree felonies, in addition to the illegal use of a minor charge, but the rape charges were dropped as part of a plea agreement with county prosecutors. At Deering’s arraignment, prosecutors said he forced a 16-year-old girl to have sex with him on two different occasions.
According to the Ohio Revised Code, potential penalties for a first-degree felony rape conviction are between three to 11 years in prison. The ORC also states that penalties for the third-degree abduction charge could be between nine to 36 months in prison.
The abduction charge was brought against Deering on Friday in a bill of information from prosecutors, meaning the charge came directly from the Delaware County Prosecutor’s Office and not through an indictment from a county grand jury.
The abduction charge states that between Aug. 30 and Sept. 6., 2015, Deering “did knowingly by force or threat, restrain the liberty of another person under circumstances that create a risk of physical harm to the victim or place the other person in fear.”
The illegal use of a minor charge stems from Deering possessing photos of the girl in a state of undress on his cellphone, prosecutors said.
Krueger accepted Deering’s guilty plea and scheduled a sentencing hearing for April 27 at 8 a.m.
Deering was out on bail Thursday.
Deering was indicted by a grand jury on the rape charges and the illegal use of a minor charge on Oct. 23, 2015. His trial had been set for Tuesday before he changed his plea.
Prosecutors said at his arraignment that investigators had taken phones belonging to both Deering and the victim for analysis.
Delaware County sheriff’s deputies arrested Deering after receiving a call about the incidents.
Prosecutors said Deering was convicted in 2014 on a charge of sexual imposition and was on probation when the current offenses occurred.