Plea deal possible in sex case

Cary Ashby • Apr 1, 2014 at 9:07 AM

The defense attorney for a Norwalk man accused of committing a sex offense with a 15-year-old girl said Monday a plea deal is possible.

Defendant Stephen Erwin, 23, of 104 E. Seminary St., is charged with 12 counts of unlawful sexual conduct with 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.

Erwin's Huron County Common Pleas Court trial is scheduled for April 22. Attorneys expect the proceeding to last two to three days.

However, Huron County Public Defender David Longo said at Monday's hearing "the trial is unlikely."

Huron County Assistant Prosecutor Richard Woodruff told Judge Jim Conway he and Longo haven't had any discussions about a possible plea deal, but added he agrees with Longo that "something could be worked out."

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

Greenwich Police Officer Aaron Smith handled the investigation. Smith has 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.

Smith said Erwin lived in Greenwich at one point and police had been looking for him ever since he moved. The officer also 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.

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. The Huron County Sheriff's Office arrested Erwin at his home the afternoon of Jan. 31 and booked him into the jail.

Erwin later posted a $10,000 bond. He is prohibited from having any association with any non-family members under the age of 18.

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