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Haley takes back guilty pleas to rape, GSI

Haley-Matthew

HALEY

Sentencing of a defendant charged with sexually assaulting a young child was delayed Monday after the accused rapist sought to withdraw the guilty plea he’d previously submitted.

Matthew S. Haley, 28, of Bellefontaine, is charged with two counts of rape and two counts of gross sexual imposition against a five-year-old girl.

He entered a guilty plea May 28 to rape, a first-degree felony and gross sexual imposition, a third-degree felony, but has apparently since changed his mind. Prosecutors believe the reason is because the defendant doesn’t like the 15 years to life in prison that accompany the charges.

Prosecutors have secured DNA evidence that allegedly incriminates the defendant.

“The case hasn’t changed at all since his plea,” Chief Assistant Prosecutor Eric Stewart said in objection to the motion. “The facts haven’t changed and there’s quite damning evidence against the defendant.

“The defendant isn’t satisfied with his sentence.”

Mr. Stewart encouraged the judge to deny the motion and proceed to sentencing.

To be safe, Judge O’Connor determined a final hearing is necessary. Mr. Haley has a constitutional right to seek to withdraw his plea and a denial of the motion without first a proper hearing risks having the case overturned on appeal.

The defendant’s hearing to withdraw his guilty plea is scheduled for 2 p.m. June 12.

He remains lodged in the Logan County Jail.

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