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Man pleads guilty to rape; gets life sentence

  Criminal Law  -   POSTED: 2007/05/14 13:17

Due to the victim's age, a Defiance man convicted Monday of child sexual abuse was sentenced to life imprisonment.

Defiance County Common Pleas Judge Joseph Schmenk handed the mandatory sentence to Andrew Arps, 18, 700 Kiser Road, for rape, a first-degree felony. Arps, who pleaded guilty to the charge Monday morning, will be parole eligible in 10 years. State law required Schmenk to impose the sentence because the victim " a four-year-old girl " was less than 10 years of age.

Authorities said during Monday's hearing that Arps engaged in digital penetration at an apartment at 700 Kiser Road on Nov. 21. Because the sentence was mandatory, the court entertained only a few comments before Arps was sentenced. Arps said he was "sorry for everything. If I could take it back I would."
The victim's father, however, said Arps had "stolen my daughter's innocence. I hope for his sake he doesn't get parole. No amount of time he can spend in jail ... can make the hurt go away."

Arps' court-appointed attorney, Steve Sondergaard of Defiance, said his client understands his conduct and is remorseful. "I believe Mr. Arps understands how this not only impacts the victim, but himself and his family," said Sondergaard. "He's truly remorseful. He understands his wrongdoing."

Schmenk made no comment in pronouncing sentence while assistance county prosecuting attorney Morris Murray said the crime has made a "tremendous impact on the victim" and her parents.

Arps was arrested in November by Defiance police not long after the crime occurred. He was later indicted by a county grand jury in December for a single count of rape. The defendant has been incarcerated at CCNO on a $1 million bond.


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