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    Canal Winchester man pleads guilty to raping, molesting girls

    By Daniel Griffin,


    COLUMBUS, Ohio ( WCMH ) – A Canal Winchester man charged with sexually molesting two girls has pleaded guilty and could face more than 26 years in prison.

    Michael Downin, 65, pleaded guilty Tuesday to one charge of first-degree felony rape and two counts of third-degree felony gross sexual imposition. In exchange for his guilty plea, the Franklin County prosecutor dropped eight rape, three gross sexual imposition, and two sexual battery charges.

    Downin was charged with sexually abusing four girls under the age of 13 at various points between March 2005 and 2019.

    One victim reported being between the ages of 12 and 17 from 2013 to 2018, when she was molested, forced to perform sexual acts, and raped during the alleged time periods. Another girl said she was assaulted for four years starting in 2015 when she was under 13.

    According to the plea agreement, Downin faces a maximum definite sentence of 10 years in prison plus an additional 11 to 16 1/2 years in prison. He is scheduled to hear that sentence on July 18.

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