LIMA — A 22-year-old Lima man faces up four decades behind bars when he is sentenced in March for having sexual contact with children as young as 9.
Perry Jones appeared Thursday in Allen County Common Pleas Court and accepted an offer from prosecutors that called for him to plead guilty to six of 19 sex-related charges leveled against him.
Jones was indicted in May by an Allen County grand jury on crimes ranging from rape to the use of a minor in nudity-oriented material. The rape charge, a first-degree felony, alleges Jones engaged in sexual conduct with a 9-year-old in August through November 2015. That charge was amended by prosecutors to attempted rape as part of the plea deal.
Jones was also charged by the grand jury with 15 counts of the illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material, all felonies of the second degree; two counts of gross sexual imposition, third-degree felonies; and a fourth-degree felony count of tampering with evidence.
The gross sexual imposition charges allege Jones had sexual contact with a person under the age of 13 in 2017.
As part of the plea deal, Jones entered pleas of guilty to attempted rape, one count of gross sexual imposition, three counts of the illegal use of minors in nudity-oriented material and one count of attempted tampering with evidence.
The remaining charges were dismissed.
The Lima man faces a minimum of three years in prison when he is sentenced on March 4. If he receives the maximum possible prison terms on all counts — and if those sentences are ordered to be served consecutively — Jones could spend up to 41 1/2 years in prison.
He will be labeled a Tier III sex offender and as such will be required to register with local authorities every 90 days for life.
Jones’ attorney, John Hopkins, in June of last year raised the issue of his client’s competency to stand trial and requested a competency evaluation. The motion was granted and Jones was evaluated by psychologists at the Forensic Psychiatry Center for Western Ohio.
Based on the results of that evaluation, Judge Jeffery Reed later ruled Jones to be competent to stand trial.
Hopkins then filed a motion with the court asking to enter a plea on behalf of his client of not guilty on the grounds of insanity. Based on the results of the competency exam, that motion was also dismissed.