Wednesday, February 28th, 2007
Man enters guilty plea to child rape charges
More charges pending in Mercer County
By Shelley Grieshop
WAPAKONETA - A Camden man pleaded guilty this week to rape and two counts of gross sexual imposition of a child during a hearing in Auglaize County Common Pleas Court.
Gregory L. Deaton Jr., 26, was indicted by an Auglaize County grand jury last fall for raping and sexually molesting a 13-year-old girl on Oct. 4 at a location in the St. Marys area.
He faces a maximum 13 years in prison and a $30,000 fine at sentencing. A sentence hearing has not yet been set.
Deaton also faces a sexual offender classification that could mandate he register his address with the local sheriff's office for the rest of his life.
Another indictment charge of rape and two other counts of gross sexual imposition were dismissed by prosecutors in a plea agreement.
Deaton also is accused of similar charges in a case pending in Mercer County. Authorities have said the same victim was under the age of 13 when Deaton first had sexual relations with her in the fall of 2003 in Mercer County and reportedly continued until 2005. He then moved to Auglaize County.
A Mercer County grand jury indicted Deaton - a former Montezuma resident - on five counts of rape and five counts of gross sexual imposition. On Nov. 8, he pleaded not guilty to those charges. A pretrial hearing in that case is set for March 16.
Deaton faces 57 ½ years in prison for the charges in Mercer County. Because the charges accuse him of raping a child under the age of 13, an additional 1-10 years in prison could be added to each of those charges at sentencing, according to the Ohio Revised Code.
Auglaize County Common Pleas Judge Frederick Pepple terminated Deaton's $250,000 bond. Deaton has been incarcerated in the Mercer County Jail since his arrest in early November.