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Plea deal likely in case of man accused of impregnating 13-year-old

Cary Ashby • Dec 6, 2011 at 11:54 AM

Prosecutors say they have a "strong case" against a Norwalk man accused of having consensual sex with a 13-year-old girl who recently gave birth.

Steven L. Corder, 19, of 120 W. Main St, Apt. C, is scheduled to go to trial Jan. 3 in Huron County Common Pleas Court. A Huron County grand jury indicted him in mid-November on five counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor. The fourth-degree felonies are in connection with one incident each in February, March and April and two more offenses in September.

Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler, at a pretrial hearing Monday, told Judge Jim Conway he assumes there will be some sort of plea bargain in the case.

"There has been a baby born ... from this liaison," said Leffler, who also mentioned that Corder had admitted to having sex with the girl.

While the prosecutor said he believes the state could resolve the case without a DNA test, Leffler said the state would need it before Corder is sentenced.

Huron County Chief Assistant Public Defender David Longo told the judge he would need to talk to Corder about the paternity test.

The victim is a 13-year-old Norwalk Township girl.

Authorities said Corder and another defendant, James P. Butler, 27, of 204 Rae Court, Lot 25, Willard, are acquainted with the girl's family and are alleged to have had consensual sex with her at different times.

The girl's guardian contacted the sheriff's office Oct. 12 about the offenses.

Butler is charged with one count of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor in connection with an incident in May. He faces a third-degree felony because he is at least 10 years older than the victim. His trial is scheduled for Jan. 10.

Corder was punished for gross sexual imposition as a juvenile, Assistant Prosecutor Richard Woodruff said. Butler has no prior felony record.

Both men remained locked up in the county jail, unable to post bond -- $25,000 for Corder and $15,000 for Butler.

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