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Salem resident arraigned on 14 child rape charges

WARREN — A Salem man, who says he lives with his mother, on Thursday pleaded not guilty to charges in a 20-count indictment that includes 14 rape charges involving three minor children.

Brandon Schultheis, 37, of 31270 Hartley Road, appeared before Trumbull County Common Pleas Judge Ronald J. Rice, who set bond at $500,000.

If Schultheis were to post bond, Rice said the defendant would be placed under house arrest and not allowed to have any contact with minors.

Schultheis told the judge his mother was talking with an attorney about representing him, and Rice set the next pretrial hearing for April 16 to establish the defendant’s representation. If he has not secured counsel by that time, Rice said he will appoint a public defender for Schultheis.

According to court records, the case includes 14 counts of rape and six counts of gross sexual imposition. The indictment states victims are two females, ages 11 and 12, and one male, 10. The charges were originally filed Jan. 23 by the Liberty Police Department.

All but two of the rape charges carry a potential life sentence, Rice said.

A Trumbull County grand jury indicted Schultheis on April 2, court records show. According to Trumbull County jail records, the defendant has been incarcerated since Feb. 19.

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