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Rape defendant refuses plea deal

WARREN — A Liberty man accused of raping a 5-year-old girl refused a plea deal in the case that carries potential life sentences.

James E. Pierce Jr., 77, 1104 Mansell Drive, is charged with two counts of rape and one count of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles. Thursday in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court, Pierce told Judge Ronald J. Rice that he refused an offer from prosecutors for a 10-year to-life sentence in return for guilty pleas to the three felony charges.

Pierce’s trial is set for Oct. 26. He is free on $250,000 bond and prohibited from having contact with the child.

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