A Toledo man who recorded himself performing a sex act on a 3-year-old boy could be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Najee Bryant, 25, of 443 Southcrest St., entered an Alford plea Tuesday in Lucas County Common Pleas Court to one count of rape for the Aug. 22 sexual assault on a child. In an Alford plea, a defendant does not admit to committing the crime, but acknowledges evidence is sufficient for a conviction that could result in a more severe sentence. The court treats it as a guilty plea.
Judge Myron Duhart found him guilty and scheduled sentencing for May 13. The judge told Bryant if he doesn’t sentence him to the maximum term of life in prison without parole, he is bound by law to give a life sentence with parole eligibility after 15 years.
Bryant said he understood.
Jennifer Lambdin, an assistant Lucas County prosecutor, told the court that Bryant used his cell phone to videotape himself “knowingly engaging in sexual conduct” with the toddler.
She said Bryant forced the youngster to perform oral sex on him. He later denied to police that he’d done anything to the child, she said, but ultimately admitted he “maybe, possibly” had committed the act.
“This is a rape. It’s a felony of the first degree,” Ms. Lambdin said.
As part of the plea agreement with Byrant, Ms. Lambdin said she would ask the court to dismiss charges of pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor and gross sexual imposition at the time of sentencing.
Bryant remained in the county jail in lieu of $175,000 bond.
By Jennifer Feehan The Blade, Toledo, Ohio (MCT)
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