A foreign man living in Lebanon pleaded guilty Thursday to three counts of gross sexual imposition on girls younger than 13 years old and agreed to a 10-year prison sentence.
Judge Donald Oda II accepted the guilty plea of Juan G. Villatoro and said sentencing would be scheduled in about two weeks.
Villatoro, 49, is expected to be deported and barred from re-entering the U.S. after his prison term, Oda indicated during the hearing in Warren County Common Pleas Court. Villatoro is apparently Guatemalan.
Villatoro was indicted in December 2018 on one count of rape and six counts of gross sexual imposition.
The charges involved three girls younger than 13 years old over the past five years.
“Victims were known to defendant, and abuse typically occurred at defendant’s residences,” Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell indicated at the time of the indictment.
“One of the victims disclosed the abuse to her mother after watching a video at school about inappropriate touching. An investigation was launched, and two other victims were identified,” Fornshell said in response to questions about the case.
Villatoro was arrested at his home in Lebanon and held without bond, pending his arraignment.
Villatoro was released, with electronic monitoring and protection orders for the victims, after posting $100,000 bond in January, according to court records.
On Thursday, Oda permitted Villatoro to remain free,while awaiting sentencing.
Oda told Villatoro he would likely not be allowed to return to the U.S., after his release from prison.
“He’s aware of those consequences,” his lawyer, Jeff Stueve, said during the hearing.
The plea comes after almost a year of legal moves, including Oda approving more funds for defense experts in August, according to court records.
When asked if he was willing to give up his rights to a trial, Villatoro, through an interpreter, said, “I’d rather plead guilty than go to trial.”
The sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 31.
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