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Inmate pleads guilty to three more sex offenses

YOUNGSTOWN — Robert J. Tullio, 55, formerly of Smithfield Street, who was sentenced to 44.5 years to life in prison in May after being convicted of three rapes and 10 counts of gross sexual imposition, got another three years in prison Monday.

The victims were three girls who were young when they were victimized by Tullio.

But the additional sentence does not increase Tullio’s sentence because Judge Anthony D’Apolito of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court on Monday approved a plea agreement in which Tullio pleaded guilty to three counts of pandering obscenities involving a minor and will serve the three years at the same time as the earlier sentence.

In May of 2023, Judge D’Apolito approved a defense motion asking that 10 pandering obscenities charges be severed from the rape and gross sexual imposition charges. The defense asked that rape and gross sexual imposition charges be tried separately to not unfairly lead the jury to find Tullio guilty of all of the offenses if they found him guilty of some of the offenses.

The seven other pandering charges were dismissed as part of Tullio’s plea agreement.

The case came to the attention of authorities in 2022, when a girl told her mother that Tullio had been sexually abusing her for years. The girl testified at the trial.

Tullio faced three counts of rape and five counts of gross sexual imposition for that victim’s claims. However, jurors acquitted him on those rape charges, finding him guilty on the gross-sexual imposition counts.

After Tullio’s arrest on those charges, two sisters called each other and divulged to one another that they too had been sexually abused by Tullio in the 1990s. They both informed prosecutors in an effort to aid the girl’s case. Their efforts led to three additional counts of rape and five more counts of gross sexual imposition against Tullio, for which he was convicted.

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