LIMA — A Lima man charged with kidnapping and sexual attacks on a woman in 2018 will be sentenced April 6 after pleading guilty to reduced charges Thursday in Allen County Common Pleas Court.
Leon Prince, 52, of Lima, was indicted by a grand jury 18 months ago on two counts of first-degree felony rape, a first-degree felony count of kidnapping and two second-degree felony counts that include robbery and felonious assault.
As part of a deal reached with prosecutors earlier this month, Prince agreed to plead guilty to the kidnapping charge and prosecutors agreed to dismiss the remaining counts in the indictment and instead to file a Bill of Information that added two third-degree felony counts of sexual battery.
Judge Jeffrey Reed told Prince that pleading guilty to the sexual battery charges is an admission of guilt that sexual conduct with a female occurred “when you knew her ability to control her own conduct was substantially impaired.”
Prince faces maximum prison sentences of 11 years on the kidnapping count and five years on each of the sexual battery charges. He will be labeled a Tier 3 sex offender and as such will be required to register with authorities every 90 days for life.
Prince, reportedly known to police as “Cowboy,” is alleged to have threatened to kill his victim with a machete during the prolonged incident that began on the afternoon of July 23, 2018, in Lima.
According to court documents, a 911 call was placed by the victim that led police to a home in the 500 block of East Fourth Street in Lima on the night in question. Officers checked several homes in the area but did not locate the victim.
A second 911 call was then received from the woman and officers went to 758 E. Fourth St. and connected with her. She said a man known to her only as “Cowboy” had assaulted her and held her against her will for more than three hours. The man allegedly also threatened her with a machete throughout the incident, causing her to fear for her life, she told police.
The victim told police the man became angry at one point about a drug deal that had gone awry and struck her in the face with a closed fist. She later picked Prince out of a police lineup and identified him as her attacker.
A search warrant subsequently was executed at a residence at 517 E. Fourth St. and a machete and other evidence was found inside the home, according to court documents.