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Deal offered in child rape case

Ravenna man accused of assaulting girls

By DAVE O'BRIEN Staff Writer Published: April 14, 2017 4:00 AM
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A Ravenna man accused of sexually assaulting two preteen girls between June 2014 and November 2016 will go to trial in June unless prosecutors and his attorney come to an agreement during ongoing plea negotiations, a judge said Wednesday.

Michael D. Fowler, 53, with a last known address on South Prospect Street, appeared Wednesday in Common Pleas Judge Laurie Pittman's courtroom, where the Portage County Prosecutor's Office made a plea offer to multiple sexual assault charges that could put him behind bars for more than a decade.

Assistant Prosecutor Eric Finnegan said his office approached Fowler and his attorney, John Laczko of the Public Defender's Office, with an offer for Fowler to plead guilty to three counts of rape, all first-degree felonies, and one count of gross sexual imposition, a third-degree felony, in exchange for a sentence of life in prison with parole eligibility after 10 years.

Attorneys said there remains a lot of evidence and materials for each side to comb through.

"Given the gravity (of the case) and the potential sentence, we just need a little time to discuss" the plea, Laczko told Pittman.

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The judge ordered the case placed on her June docket, with "no further continuances" to be granted, she told Laczko and Finnegan. The new trial date is June 20, according to court records.

Fowler remains in the Portage County jail on $2.5 million bond. The Portage County Sheriff's Office began investigating him in November following reports he molested a 12-year-old girl.

The investigation also revealed Fowler allegedly raped and molested a different girl more than a dozen times between June 2014 and November, according to his charges.


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redleg6 Apr 14, 2017 11:45 AM

From above:..Assistant Prosecutor Eric Finnegan said his office approached Fowler and his attorney, John Laczko of the Public Defender's Office, with an offer...

Q.Why would the Prosecutor want to make a Deal with a multiple "BABY RAPER"...????...

GO to Trial, that is what you are paid for...

If found guilty, lock him up forLIFE, not 10 years...

Don't reduce the charges...Don't give the rapist a deal...

Consider what he did to the PRE-TEEN aged girls...(Fowler allegedly raped and molested a different girl more than a dozen times)...

Yet our Democrat Prosecutors office wants to make aDEALand reduce the punishment of a baby rapist..

SHAMEFUL..!!!

NO DEAL for BABY RAPERS....

Don't Let'm Go, Laurie...

Justice for the VICTIMS, not Deals that benefit the CRIMINAL.......