LIMA — A 63-year-old Columbus Grove man accused have having sex with a boy under the age of 13 will likely spend the rest of his life in prison.
Richard Byrd pleaded guilty in Allen County Common Pleas Court Wednesday to 10 counts of first-degree rape, all felonies of the first degree, along with third-degree felony counts of sexual battery and gross sexual imposition. In exchange for that plea, prosecutors dismissed specifications included on four of the rape counts that called for mandatory sentences of life in prison.
Byrd still faces the possibility of receiving life sentences when he is sentenced on Dec. 12.
Prosecutors say Byrd assaulted the young boy over a span of several years — starting when the alleged victim was approximately 7 years old. According to a report by Detective Callie Basinger of the Allen County Sheriff’s Office, the boy was sexually assaulted numerous times while he was between the ages of 7 and 14. The incidents reportedly took place at Lake Cody, 5775 Ottawa Road, Lima.
When the boy reached the age of 14, Basinger’s report states, he threatened his attacker and the assaults subsequently stopped. During an interview with authorities in June of this year, Byrd reportedly admitted performing various sex acts with and upon the alleged victim.