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LISBON Granted new trial, rapist pleads guilty



Published: Wed, September 26, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



The original conviction was tossed because defense attorneys weren't given information that might have helped the accused.

By NORMAN LEIGH

VINDICATOR SALEM BUREAU

LISBON -- An East Liverpool man accused of rape is forgoing a new trial ordered by an appellate court and has pleaded guilty instead.

Corey McKinnon, 24, entered the plea to the first-degree felony Tuesday before Judge C. Ashley Pike of Columbiana County Common Pleas Court.

McKinnon reached an agreement with prosecutors who, in exchange for the guilty plea, recommended a four-year sentence. Sentencing is set for 9:30 a.m. Jan. 7.

The maximum penalty for rape is 10 years. That's what McKinnon received after his 1998 conviction for the July 1997 crime.

McKinnon appealed his conviction to the 7th District Court of Appeals.

What's behind this: He argued that prosecutors failed to provide his attorneys a security guard's report based on the guard's conversation with the victim after the attack.

The guard said the victim told him her attacker ordered her to remove her clothing before he raped her.

During the trial, however, the victim offered a slightly different story, repeatedly stating her assailant tore off her clothing.

The appellate court determined that McKinnon's attorney should have been provided a copy of the guard's report, which might have had an impact on the trial's outcome.

McKinnon's attorney, Lawrence Stacey II of Columbiana, was unavailable to comment on his client's plea.

Prosecutor Tim McNicol said the victim agrees with the recommended sentence.

Should McKinnon be sentenced to four years in prison, he could be given credit for the nearly two years of his original sentence he's already served.

McKinnon was freed from prison early this year, after the appeals court decided he should get a new trial.




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