By Ed Runyan
A 67-year-old Leavittsburg man has pleaded innocent to six counts of rape, three of them calling for a life prison sentence, and three counts of gross sexual imposition.
John C. Grantz of Burnett Road in Leavittsburg appeared in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court on Thursday on the rape charges, which purportedly involved a girl who was between ages 6 and 14.
The rapes are alleged to have occurred between summer of 2006 and late July this year.
The three counts of gross sexual imposition allege that he sexually assaulted a slightly younger girl three times. He also pleaded innocent to those.
Judge Ronald Rice set bond at $250,000 and ordered Grantz to have no contact with anyone under 18 years of age if he is able to get out on bond. He returns to court Oct. 3.
His wife, Patricia A. Grantz, also 67 and also of the Burnett Road residence, pleaded innocent to one misdemeanor count of endangering children, accused of violating a duty of care, protection or support of the children.
Bond for her was set at $1,500, and she also is ordered to have no contact with anyone under age 18. Her next hearing is Sept. 30.
Both were secretly indicted by a Trumbull County grand jury Wednesday.
In other action in Judge Rice’s court, Jarred Watson, 28, of Front Street Southwest, who was indicted on charges of murder and felonious assault, pleaded guilty Thursday to the lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter.
The murder charge could have carried a penalty of life in prison. The voluntary manslaughter charge could result in a prison term of up to 11 years.
Watson is accused of killing George L. Myers, 57, of 148 Dickey Ave. NW on May 19 at Myers’ home.
Myers, the father of Watson’s ex-girlfriend, was found dead in his backyard from wounds suffered in a beating.
Chris Becker, an assistant Trumbull County prosecutor, said he could not discuss the reasons for prosecutors agreeing to the lesser charge until after Watson is sentenced.
The sentencing will occur in about six weeks, after the Trumbull County Adult Probation Department conducts a presentence investigation.