Created on Thursday, 22 May 2014 Written by JOEL E. MAST
Two men — one an accused child rapist and the other an accused drug dealer — entered guilty pleas Wednesday during appearances before Logan County Common Pleas Court Judge Mark S. O’Connor.
Gabriel North, 39, of Lakeview, avoided a possible life sentence by pleading guilty to one count of rape and two counts of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material.
He originally was charged by Logan County Sheriff’s detectives in 2011 and was indicted in July 2013 on three counts of rape, first-degree felonies; three counts of gross sexual imposition, third-degree felonies; 17 counts of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material, fifth-degree felonies; and 25 counts of pandering sexually oriented material, fifth-degree felonies.
In exchange for the three guilty pleas, Logan County Prosecutor William T. Goslee agreed to dismiss the remaining counts.
Mr. Goslee said the defendant still faces up to 11 years in prison and will have to register as a sex offender for life.
The prosecutor believes the plea was the best outcome for the case which involved a female victim who was under the age of 13 at the time of the rapes.
“She won’t have to take the stand and she now knows he admits he did it,” Mr. Goslee said.
In the other plea, Matthew Williams, 23, of Columbus, pleaded guilty to trafficking in drugs and forfeited $1,730.
He was arrested by the Logan County Joint Drug Task Force in December after detectives investigated a report of two men in hooded coats running between homes in the 400 block of Spring Avenue.
Detectives recovered eight grams of crack cocaine, $1,730 and two cellular phones after apprehending the suspect.
He was indicted in January for possession of drugs and trafficking in drugs, fourth-degree felonies.
Both defendants will be sentenced June 23.