E. Side man pleads innocent to 25 counts of child rape

YOUNGSTOWN -- A secret indictment accusing an East Side man of 25 counts of rape alleges that he forced a girl younger than 13 to have sexual contact with him multiple times between September 1999 and September 2001.
William O'Neill Jr., 40, of Himrod Avenue, has pleaded innocent and is being held in the Mahoning County Justice Center in lieu of $500,000 bail.
The indictment accuses him of one count of rape per month over the 25-month span. It also accuses him of using force or the threat of force to compel the girl to submit.
Each of the charges carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment on conviction.
A prosecutor has said O'Neill is related to the girl and the acts took place in Warren and Youngstown.
O'Neill was arrested by deputy sheriffs at his home on Tuesday and arraigned Wednesday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court. He faces a May 8 trial before Judge James C. Evans.

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