Man faces 18 years in prison

By John W. Goodwin Jr.


A Niles man could spend up to 18 years in prison after pleading guilty to kidnapping and felonious-assault charges in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.

Joshua Hansen, 26, of Youll Street, was scheduled to go on trial Monday before Judge James Evans on rape, felonious-assault and kidnapping charges. Hansen, however, reached a plea agreement with county prosecutors before the trial began.

Hansen pleaded guilty to one count of kidnapping and one count of felonious assault. Prosecutors agreed to dismiss the rape charge.

He faces 10 years in prison on the kidnapping charge and an additional eight years in prison on the felonious assault charge.

Prosecutors are recommending that Hansen spend five years in prison for both crimes. Judge Evans, however, does not have to follow that recommendation. The judge will sentence Hansen on April 14.

Carla Baldwin Fields, an assistant county prosecutor, said Hansen was at an Austintown club in November 2009 when he met a woman who asked him for a ride home. The victim refused to have sex, and that angered Hansen, the prosecutor said.

Baldwin Fields said Hansen beat the woman badly. The woman at first told police she had not been raped but later said she had been sexually assaulted.

Baldwin Fields said prosecutors spoke with the victim, who was satisfied with the plea agreement and happy to see Hansen spend some time in prison.

“The victim wanted prison time. She just wanted to make sure he was behind bars. She wanted to resolve this case without having to relive it in open court. That was the motivation for the plea agreement,” Baldwin Fields added.

Court records indicate Hansen has been charged with multiple crimes in the past, including driving over the legal limit, receiving stolen property, misuse of a credit card, forgery and felonious assault.

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