Rapist accepts plea deal

Cary Ashby • Updated Sep 26, 2018 at 10:38 PM

A Wakeman man charged with multiple counts of rape has agreed to a plea deal in Huron County Common Pleas Court.

Robert J. Atkinson, 29, most recently of 5810 U.S. 20, Lot 131, pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of rape. The first-degree felony is punishable by three to 11 years in prison.

As part of Tuesday’s plea deal, prosecutors dismissed six counts of rape. 

One charge is in connection with an incident between Feb. 10, 2014 through Dec. 31, 2015 when the victim was between birth and 1 year old, according to Atkinson’s indictment. The other six charges cover offenses between May 22 and 29 involving a victim who was 4. The Huron County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case.

Atkinson has been in the Huron County Jail since May 29. During Tuesday’s hearing, Judge Jim Conway revoked the defendant’s $150,000 bond, so Atkinson will remain behind bars until his Oct. 29 sentencing hearing.

In other hearings:

• Timothy D. Belcher, 56, of Mansfield, was fined $250 Monday for burglary. During his three years of probation, he has a 90-day discretionary jail sentence hanging over his head. His probation officer has the option to impose part or all of the time without a hearing.

• Dustin C. Burton, 34, most recently of 102 Spring St., Willard, was fined $250 Monday for one count each of receiving stolen property and breaking and entering. He pleaded guilty to the charges July 24 in exchange for prosecutors dismissing a second count of breaking and entering. During his three years of probation, Burton faces a 90-day discretionary jail sentence. Conway, during Monday’s hearing, ordered the defendant to be released from custody.

• Jessy P. Lee, 27, most recently of 230 Whittlesey Ave., Lot 57, was fined $250 and ordered to pay $80 of restitution Monday for one count each of possession of heroin and possession of drugs. He also has a 90-day discretionary jail sentence hanging over his head during his three years of probation.

• Crystal M. McFarlin, 33, who reported being homeless, was sentenced Tuesday to 30 days in jail for an undisclosed probation and the judge unsuccessfully terminated her from community control. Court records indicate McFarlin violated the terms of her treatment-in-lieu-of conviction on one count each of possession of cocaine and possession of oxycodone, so Conway imposed the defendant’s previous guilty plea.

• Richard J. Pomerleau, 25, most recently of 71 Norwood Ave., pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count each of trafficking in a counterfeit controlled substance and aggravated trafficking in drugs. As part of a plea deal, prosecutors dismissed one charge each of aggravated trafficking in drugs and possessing criminal tools. Pomerleau, who is out on a $10,000 bond, will be sentenced Nov. 14.

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