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Accused rapist pleads to amended felony

Cary Ashby • Jan 19, 2014 at 5:20 PM

An accused rapist pleaded guilty Friday to an amended fourth-degree felony and was released from an electronically-monitored ankle monitor.

David Barnum, 38, of Willard, was convicted of aggravated assault. He told Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway he understands that since he has a prior felony conviction, he's eligible for a prison term of six to 18 months when he is sentenced March 5.

Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler said his office had a lengthy discussion with the victim, who is "satisfied with this agreement." Defense attorney John McMahon, after Friday's hearing, said he thinks the plea deal is a fair resolution.

The June 15 assault happened near the restaurant and lounge in the Holiday Lakes area in Willard. Barnum was an employee there, but now works at a different location with the same name.

After misreading "some signals" from the victim and drinking alcohol, Barnum assaulted the woman, Leffler said.

"She suffered some physical harm," Leffler said, referring to the Willard victim, who mostly sustained psychological harm, which could be cause for hospitalization.

The Huron County Sheriff's Office arrested Barnum soon after the assault. In mid-August, a Huron County grand jury indicted Barnum on rape, which was punishable by three to 11 years in prison, a $20,000 maximum fine and a lifetime address registration requirement.

A prosecutor had referred to the incident as "a fairly violent rape." Barnum's attorney said earlier his client planned to claim the incident was consensual if the case went to trial. The defendant's trial was scheduled to start next week.

Barnum, who earlier posted a $75,000 bond, was on the ankle monitor for several months. He is prohibited from having any contact or association with the victim and isn't allowed to be on the premises of the business where the assault happened.

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