WARREN -- A 36-year-old Cleveland Heights man has pleaded innocent to 53 counts of rape and one count of gross sexual imposition.
Mark Allen Collister, of Yorkshire Road, Cleveland Heights, entered the pleas Wednesday in the courtroom of Judge Andrew Logan of Trumbull County Common Pleas Court. Collister's hearing was held moments after a Trumbull County grand jury issued the indictments.
Collister, who is being represented by Atty. Anthony Consoldane of the Ohio Public Defender's Office, declined to comment.
The judge set Collister's bond at $1 million, despite Consoldane's request to set it at $250,000.
"He worked at the Sheraton Hotel in Cleveland, and I don't know if he would have even been able to make the $250,000 bond," Consoldane said.
"I just think $1 million is an awful excessive bond. Bond is not supposed to be to punish; it is just to make sure the person shows up."
A pretrial has been scheduled for April 22.
Collister is accused of raping two boys. The victims, who are 9 and 11, live in the Warren area, officials said.
Collister was a friend of the boys' family and would come to the area to visit, Consoldane said.