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Accused sex offender pleads innocent to 12 charges

Cary Ashby • Feb 6, 2014 at 1:07 PM

A Norwalk man entered "not guilty" pleas Monday to 12 suspected sex crimes involving a 15-year-old girl.

Stephen Erwin, 23, of 104 E. Seminary St., goes to trial April 22 on 12 counts of unlawful sexual conduct of a minor. According to his indictment, the fourth-degree felonies are in connection with incidents on May 26, June 3 and 9, July 7 and 21, Aug. 3 and 18, Sept. 1, 15 and 29 plus Oct. 13 and 27.

Huron County Assistant Prosecutor Richard Woodruff told the court Monday no family members are involved.

A Huron County grand jury issued a secret indictment Dec. 13. Grand jurors often issue a secret indictment if authorities suspect the defendant might flee. Huron County sheriff's deputies arrested Erwin at 4:43 p.m. Friday at his home and booked him into the jail shortly afterward.

Greenwich Police Officer Aaron Smith handled the investigation. He said the girl's father came to the station after he looked at his daughter's Facebook page and "came across some information." The officer didn't elaborate on what the father saw online.

Smith said the suspect lived in Greenwich and police had been looking for Erwin ever since he moved. The officer said there was a suspected sex offense which took place in Willard, but it's unknown if Erwin's indictment reflects that allegation.

"Erwin was cooperative. He had confessed to all 12 counts," Smith said, referring to offenses in Greenwich.

If convicted, Erwin faces six to 18 months behind bars on each count. He also would be classified as a Tier II sex offender, which would require him to register his address for 25 years.

Erwin must post a $10,000 bond before being released from custody. He is prohibited from having any association with any non-family members under the age of 18.

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