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Accused rapist pleads innocent to 35 felonies

Cary Ashby • Nov 21, 2012 at 8:55 AM

A Castalia man faces more than 30 felonies on allegations he raped two young female relatives.

Victor J. Veliz, 39, was in Huron County Common Pleas Court to answer to a 35-count secret indictment Monday. He is charged with 15 counts of sexual battery, which are second- and third-degree felonies, 11 third-degree felony counts of gross sexual imposition and nine charges of rape, a first-degree felony.

"My client pleads not guilty to all the allegations in the indictment. ... He intends to fight these charges," defense attorney Thomas DeBacco said.

Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler said one of the victims is now 15 and Veliz reportedly had "full sexual conduct" with her. He said the 11 gross sexual imposition charges cover suspected offenses involving the other girl who is now 13 which happened through as late as September.

"The state feels these are serious charges," said Leffler, who recommended a $125,000 bond.

DeBacco, when addressing bond, said Veliz "had all the opportunity to flee, but he did not" even though he knew the charges were coming more than a month ago.

Judge Jim Conway imposed a $100,000 bond and prohibited Veliz from having any association with the two suspected victims and from being on any properties where they might be.

Veliz could face life in prison on the six rape charges, first-degree felonies, which cover suspected offenses involving the two girls. His trial is scheduled for Jan. 15.

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