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Does accused rapist have plea deal pending?

Cary Ashby • Jan 16, 2014 at 9:07 PM

An accused rapist could be taking his case to trial next week. Or not.

Jury selection for the trial of David Barnum is scheduled to start Tuesday morning. However, Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway said he understands that Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler and defense attorney John McMahon are working on a possible plea deal.

If a plea were in place, Barnum would be back in court Friday. He earlier posted a $75,000 bond and is prohibited from having any contact or association with the suspected victim.

Barnum, 38, of Willard, is charged with one count of rape in connection with a June 15 incident that authorities have called "a fairly violent rape." His attorney has said even though the allegation is serious, Barnum plans to claim the incident was consensual if the case goes to trial.

Leffler and McMahon, at Wednesday's hearing, said they assume the trial will be finished by Jan. 23, but the presentation of evidence "might spill over" into the next day.

The suspected rape happened near the restaurant and lounge in the Holiday Lakes area in Willard, where Barnum was an employee.

"There were some photos (taken) at the scene," Leffler said. "There was no audio statement."

Jurors are expected to view the area. Assistant Prosecutor Richard Woodruff has said that process will "take some time."

The Huron County Sheriff's Office arrested Barnum soon after the suspected incident. Prosecutors filed a rape complaint June 17 in Norwalk Municipal Court.

If Barnum is convicted of the first-degree felony, he faces three to 11 years in prison, a $20,000 maximum fine and a lifetime address registration requirement.

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