TROY - A Troy man whose two Miami County trials on felony rape charges ended last year without jury verdicts was sentenced Monday to 18 months in prison on an abduction charge. The agreement was offered by prosecutors to resolve the case and eliminate the need for a third trial.
Charles Hiser, 37, was sentenced in the same Common Pleas Court courtroom where his first trial ended in a mistrial and the second in a hung jury. He declined comment Monday and will receive credit for 426 days spent in jail.
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Judge Christopher Gee, who heard testimony in the case, told Hiser the teenage victim’s testimony was credible.
“This case is ultimately about your criminal conduct,” Gee said. He said the teen “is not a victim but a conqueror of her abuser.”
Hiser entered an Alford plea to the felony abduction charge under a deal in which prosecutors dismissed the rape charges and recommended the 18-month term.
Assistant Prosecutor Janna Parker said the deal was offered based in part on feedback from jurors in the previous cases. “The concern was whether we could ever seat a jury that would convict him,” she said after the plea hearing. There also were concerns about having the teen who alleged she was raped testify again, Parker said.
On Monday, Parker said it was “kind of a disappointing day” for prosecutors. She said the case outcome did not define the girl. “She is very bright and she will do great things despite the defendant and his actions,” Parker said.
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With an Alford plea, the defendant admits prosecutors can prove the charges but still maintains his innocence.
Hiser said at his plea hearing he understood that, while he maintained his innocence, it was advisable to make the plea because of the “high risk ” he faced with the rape charges and any conviction.
Hiser faced eight felony rape indictments for alleged sexual contact and sexual conduct with a person under age 10 and then under age 13 between February 2012 and late 2016 in Piqua and Troy.
He had a prior conviction for misdemeanor sexual imposition in 2006 and was classified Tier 1 sex offender. The abduction charge does not require a sex offender classification.
The abduction charge carried a maximum term of three years in prison. If convicted of the original charges, Hiser could have faced life in prison. He has been in jail since his arrest in February 2017.
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