Jury to hear Youngstown man’s rape trial

Staff report


A jury selected Monday will hear the case of a Youngstown man accused of raping a child over the course of five years.

Kenneth Thomas, 38, of Hubbard Road, faces 19 counts of rape, 16 of which carry the potential for a life sentence.

The prosecution and defense will present opening arguments this morning with Judge Lou A. D’Apolito presiding in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.

Prosecutors say Thomas repeatedly raped a young male relative. The first 16 counts of rape, with the possibility of life sentences, occurred from the time the accuser was 9 until he turned 13, according to an indictment report.

The remaining counts occurred between the child’s 13th birthday and February 2016, when the child was 14.

Those are first-degree felonies, punishable by three to 11 years in prison.

A county grand jury indicted Thomas in April 2016.

Thomas turned down a plea agreement offered by prosecutors before jury selection Monday morning.

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