Plea deal offered to Lima man charged with rape

LIMA — Prosecutors on Tuesday made what was termed a “final offer” to a Lima man facing more than a dozen counts linked to his alleged sexual assault of a minor.

With a jury trial two weeks away, the plea offer presented to Matthew Brown will expire at noon on July 11, according to assistant Allen County Prosecuting Attorney Joe Everhart.

Brown, 33, was indicted by the June session of the grand jury on nine counts of rape, seven counts of sexual battery, two counts of gross sexual imposition and one count of attempted rape for alleged sexual conduct with a juvenile under the age of 13 in addition to the five previous charges.

The proposed plea deal offered Tuesday called for Brown to plead guilty to a single count of rape, a felony of the first degree, along with one count of attempted rape and three counts of sexual battery, all second-degree felonies. In return for those pleas, the state would dismiss the remaining 14 counts.

Brown’s attorney, Carroll Creighton of the Allen County Public Defenders Office, said he would consult with his client and would respond to the offer by the July 11 deadline.

Brown was initially indicted by a grand jury in March on two counts of sexual battery, two counts of gross sexual imposition and one count of importuning for incidents that allegedly took place involving the minor between May 2019 and November 2020.

The superseding indictment handed down by grand jurors last month expanded the date range of the alleged incidents through June of last year and added the 14 new charges.

Brown was released on bond following his arraignment in March but a warrant for his arrest was issued one day later after he reportedly cut off his GPS ankle monitor and fled. He eluded law enforcement until his arrest on May 15.

Jury selection in Brown’s trial is scheduled to begin July 19.