GALION — The trial of Nathan McIe, 42, of Crestline was set to begin in Crawford County Common Pleas Court, but was avoided in a last-minute plea deal.
McIe originally was charged with two counts of rape, a first-degree felony and faced up to 50 years in prison if convicted. After the charges were amended, McIe pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and one count of felonious assault.
In the plea agreement, McIe will serve five years in prison and register as a Tier II Sex Offender for the next 25 years. McIe was represented by Attorney Adam Stone.
In remarks to the court before sentencing, Assistant Prosecutor Ryan Hoovler noted that it had been a very difficult case.
Noting he had met with the victim, Hoovler said: “I am happy that this child can now get closure. He was under very high anxiety. I crafted this plea to avoid additional trauma of having this child testify in court and taking the chance that we would set back all the progress he has made.”
When asked what he had to say on behalf of his client, Adam Stone told the court: “I rarely agree with the prosecution, but in this case, I do. My client is here to take responsibility and agrees that this will give the victim closure.”
When asked if he had anything to say before sentencing, McIe said he had nothing to say.
However, Judge Sean Leuthold had a lot to say about the plea and sentencing. Calling this a “troubling case,” Leuthold talked about the victim.
“He’s 13, but his development is arrested, and he seems to have the maturity of an 8 to 9-year-old. He’s more mentally and physically like a second grader,” the judge stated.
Saying that he didn’t like the outcome, Leuthold said he certainly respected the state’s position.
“We take the well-being of the victim very seriously, so I am going to swallow this deal rather than push this child over a cliff,” he added.
Telling McIe he deserved ten times the sentence he was receiving, Leuthold said it is a bitter pill for the court to swallow.
“If you are capable of shame, you should be very ashamed of yourself,” Leuthold said. “Now everyone knows who you are and what you are. You have abused your last child in Crawford County.”
Before imposing the sentence, Leuthold outlined the conditions of reporting for Tier II Sex Offenders to McIe. McIe signed a statement saying he knew and understood the conditions.
Upon passing sentence, Leuthold ordered McIe to be taken to prison the same day.
“Get him to prison and out of my county immediately,” Leuthold charged.