Ottawa man found guilty in rape case


By David Trinko - dtrinko@limanews.com



Jesus Tapia Jr., right, signs a “no contest” plea to a rape charge while his attorney, Barry Schroeder, watches Tuesday. Tapia faces 11 to 16 1/2 years in prison when he’s sentenced Aug. 12.

Jesus Tapia Jr., right, signs a “no contest” plea to a rape charge while his attorney, Barry Schroeder, watches Tuesday. Tapia faces 11 to 16 1/2 years in prison when he’s sentenced Aug. 12.


OTTAWA — An Ottawa man will spend 11 to 16 1/2 years in prison for raping a boy, after a judge found him guilty Tuesday morning.

Jesus Tapia Jr., 59, of Ottawa, pleaded no contest to a modified rape charge Tuesday morning, and Judge Keith Schierloh found him guilty of the first-degree felony. Tapia will be sentenced at 11 a.m. Aug. 12, a week prior to the planned start of a jury trial.

A “no contest” plea means Tapia acknowledged the facts presented in the case but didn’t plead guilty to the charges, leaving the judgment of guilty up to Schierloh.

Tapia was “in a position of authority” over the male, who was identified in the original indictment as John Doe with a birth year of 2008, making him 12 or 13 at the time. Assistant prosecutor Todd Schroeder said Tapia engaged in oral sex with the boy “by force or threat of force” at a home in the 700 block of South Oak Street, Ottawa, on March 21.

Tapia was previously convicted of a similar charge in Montgomery County in 2002, according to the original indictment. Tapia had already been labeled as a sexually oriented offender after his release in September 2012.

Neither that previous indictment nor the age of the victim are included in the new charges accepted on Tuesday, as part of the plea deal. Tapia, who has been held on $150,000 bond, also had a motion to revoke supervision on a tampering with records charge set aside as part of the deal.

Tapia was soft-spoken during the hearing, to the point Schierloh asked him to speak up and make eye contact with him as they went through a checklist to ensure Tapia understood what his plea meant. Most of his answers were short, aside from a sentence that he couldn’t get counseling for a previously diagnosed mental illness because “I can’t get out of jail.”

The courtroom was largely vacant Tuesday, as the victim and his family decided against attending the plea change hearing. Tapia also didn’t have any supporters in court, leaving only the parties, the judge, media, court personnel and a representative from Crime Victim Services in the room.

Jesus Tapia Jr., right, signs a “no contest” plea to a rape charge while his attorney, Barry Schroeder, watches Tuesday. Tapia faces 11 to 16 1/2 years in prison when he’s sentenced Aug. 12.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2021/07/web1_Tapia.jpgJesus Tapia Jr., right, signs a “no contest” plea to a rape charge while his attorney, Barry Schroeder, watches Tuesday. Tapia faces 11 to 16 1/2 years in prison when he’s sentenced Aug. 12.

By David Trinko

dtrinko@limanews.com

Reach David Trinko at 567-242-0467 or on Twitter @Lima_Trinko.

Reach David Trinko at 567-242-0467 or on Twitter @Lima_Trinko.

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