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BOARDMAN Man faces corruption charge



Published: Sat, August 25, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



The girl told police the man knew she was 15.

By JOHN W. GOODWIN JR.

VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER

BOARDMAN -- A 27-year-old township man has been charged with felony corruption of a minor after police determined he had consensual sex with a 15-year-old girl.

Mark E. Shorthouse, Salinas Trail, appeared in Boardman Area Court Thursday night but entered no plea. He is free after posting $4,000 bond but is due back in court Sept. 24.

Police received a call from the girl's parents July 8 saying their daughter had been raped by an adult male two days earlier. The matter had been considered under investigation until Shorthouse surrendered to authorities Thursday.

According to police reports, the girl left her home to go walking with a group of friends and the family dog just before 11 p.m. July 6. The group of three girls stopped at a Southern Boulevard address to pick up another friend.

Addressed group: While at the Southern Boulevard address, the group ran into Shorthouse, who asked if he could accompany the girls on their walk, the girl told police.

According to reports, Shorthouse and the girl walked together behind the others and started kissing. After the walk, Shorthouse invited the girl up to an apartment where they stayed for about 30 minutes and had consensual sex, and the girl walked home later, reports say.

The girl told police Shorthouse asked her age during the walk, and when she told him she was 15, he said, "I won't have to worry about this then, right?"

She asked Shorthouse how old he was just before leaving the apartment and he said he was 26, reports say.

Rick Balog, juvenile police division officer, said Shorthouse is charged with a felony because of the age difference. Under Ohio law, if Shorthouse were only four years older than the girl, he could have been charged with a misdemeanor, Balog said.




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