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Wakeman man accused of raping girl, 8

Norwalk Reflector Staff • Oct 29, 2015 at 12:09 PM

FLORENCE TOWNSHIP - A Wakeman man is accused of raping an 8-year-old girl between Nov. 1 and Feb. 26.

Brian C. Barnhill, 24, of 10519 Harrison Road, has been held at the Erie County Jail since 6:22 p.m. Thursday on rape, a jail spokeswoman said. If convicted, he could be sentenced to three to 10 years in prison and fined up to $20,000.

Erie County Sheriff's Capt. Paul Sigsworth said the suspected rape happened at Barnhill's Florence Township home, which is under the jurisdiction of Vermilion Municipal Court. The girl's mother reported the offense Feb. 26.

Detective Jerry Oliver interviewed the victim Thursday morning at the Lorain County Child Advocacy Center. Sigsworth described the facility as a non-threatening environment where juveniles can talk to authorities. Oliver, after interviewing Barnhill late Thursday afternoon, arrested the suspect.

Sigsworth said Oliver is expected to present his case to Erie County prosecutors for the consideration of a grand jury indictment. Barnhill's bond hearing will be at 9 a.m. Tuesday in Vermilion Municipal Court.

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