NILES Man faces rape charges involving 9-year-old girl

The defendant is being held in the Trumbull County Jail in lieu of $150,000 bond.
NILES -- A Clinton Street man accused of raping a 9-year-old girl will return to court later this month.
Police arrested Dennis James Jackson, 40, Friday night after an investigation initiated when a witness reported seeing Jackson touching the girl inappropriately.
Jackson also is accused of having sexual conduct with the girl in August 1999 when she was 7, resulting in a second rape offense.
Sexual conduct with a person younger than 13 constitutes rape under Ohio law.
"We contacted [Trumbull County] Children Services and with them we went up and spoke to the mother and him," Police Chief Bruce Simeone said.
His defense: In a statement to police, Jackson said the girl complained of soreness in her genital area. He checked the area to see if anything was wrong and rubbed antiseptic cream on the area because it looked irritated, he told police.
Jackson said he told the girl the irritation was likely caused by her swimsuit. He wrote in his statement that he was fully dressed and that he "would not and could not do anything to harm" the girl.
"The girl talked to CSB, and we feel confident with the arrest," Simeone said.
Jackson didn't enter a plea Monday when he appeared in Niles Municipal Court. Jackson remains in Trumbull County Jail. Acting Judge John R. Gargano set $75,000 bond on each of the two rape counts.
The judge set Aug. 22 for a preliminary hearing.

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