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City man gets 15 year-term

Convicted of raping young girls

YOUNGSTOWN — A Coitsville Hubbard Road man received a 15-year prison term after his attorney unsuccessfully tried to get the judge to withdraw the defendant’s earlier no contest pleas to two rape counts.

Todd Perkins, 55, was handcuffed by deputies and led away from Judge Maureen Sweeney’s Mahoning County Common Pleas courtroom Wednesday following the sentencing hearing.

Sweeney had sentenced Perkins to eight years for the first rape count and then seven years for the second count with the terms to be served consecutively.

Perkins’ attorney Thomas Zena, prior to sentencing, had argued that Perkins plea be withdrawn because he had been confused and simply had a change of heart.

Sweeney, however, sided with assistant Prosecutor Jennifer McLaughlin, who said the defendant’s “change of mind” is not good enough reason.

In early May, Perkins had pleaded no contest to sex acts involving a girl who was about 4 years old and is related to him between October 2015 and October 2016; and another rape involving an 8- or 9-year-old girl that occurred between August 2009 and August 2011.

The judge found Perkins guilty of the acts, that included inappropriate touching and intercourse with the older child, prosecutors state.

“He did these things to fulfill a sick sexual fantasy,” said assistant Prosecutor Caitlyn Andrews in arguing for the consecutive sentences. “He is a danger to the community, including those closest to him.”

The plea avoided a trial scheduled for May 10.

The mother of the younger victim said the incidents caused a lot of sleepless nights and anxiety.

“We lost somebody we could trust,” she said.

The defendant maintained his innocence when he was asked to speak.

“I didn’t do any of these false accusations,” Perkins said. “This whole thing has been confusing. I don’t know how this could have happened.”

Zena said his client has been battling health problems and had brain surgery, which had postponed the trial date.

Perkins, who was indicted on six counts of rape and two counts of gross sexual imposition, must also register as a Tier 3 sex offender for the rest of his life.

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