Man pleads guilty in child rape case

YOUNGSTOWN — A man who was facing a jury trial this week in Mahoning County Common Pleas court agreed to a plea deal with prosecutors Monday shortly before jury selection was to begin.

Donavin Matthew Chipps, 26, who had previous addresses in Canfield, Poland and Diamond, appeared before Judge John Durkin to plead guilty to one count of first-degree rape, a second-degree sexual battery, two counts of gross sexual imposition, third- and fourth-degree offenses, and one count of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.

Chipps will submit to a background investigation by probation officers before his sentencing hearing before Durkin, which has not been scheduled. He could face a maximum life-in-prison sentence.

Mahoning County sheriff’s detectives investigated a tip that led to eight felony charges, which included four felony / life rape counts against Chipps.

Investigators say the three alleged victims ranged in age from 6 to 14 years old when incidents took place between March 2014 and July 2015 across Mahoning County. He was arrested by U.S. Marshals in late August 2021 on a secret Mahoning County grand jury indictment.

Chipps has since been held in the Mahoning County jail without bond.



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