Vincent Williams before sentencing. Vincent Williams makes an Alford plea to three counts of rape, of a 17-year-old, a 15-year-old, and a 13-year-old, before Judge Gene Zmuda in the Lucas County Courthouse in Toledo, Ohio on September 19, 2011.
A Toledo man charged with several counts of rape for assaulting teenage girls on their way to school was sentenced to 30 years in prison after entering a plea in Lucas County Common Pleas Court Monday.
Vincent Williams, 30, of 513 Adams St., entered an Alford plea to three counts of rape. Per the negotiated plea, additional kidnapping and rape charges were dismissed and he was ordered to serve an agreed-upon prison sentence.
Williams was found guilty of sexually assaulting three teenage girls — ages 17, 15, and 13. In each case, he approached them from behind, told them that he had a gun, and forcibly led them to a nearby, secluded area where he assaulted them, Assistant County Prosecutor Jennifer Lambdin said. Williams then threatened his victims by telling them that he would shoot them if they told anyone and that he knew where they lived and where they went to school, Ms. Lambdin said.
Two of the incidents occurred Nov. 19 — one near City Park and Nebraska avenues and the second near Highland Park. The other incident occurred Nov. 5 on East Broadway, Ms. Lambdin said.
Ms. Lambdin said DNA identified Williams as the assailant. Neither Williams nor his attorney, David Klucas, made statements prior to Judge Gene Zmuda imposing the sentence. In an Alford plea, the defendant maintains his innocence or does not admit he committed a crime, but acknowledges sufficient evidence for a conviction. The court treats it as a guilty plea.
Williams was arrested Nov. 26 and charged with 17 separate counts in two separate cases including rape, kidnapping, and intimidation.
Ms. Lambdin told Judge Zmuda that there were a total of six victims involved in all of the charges and that they, as well as all investigating officers, agreed with the negotiated plea. In particular, she said after the hearing that the plea spared the victims from having to testify.
In addition to the 30-year sentence, Williams was also given the highest level classification of sex offender and so will have to register with the county sheriff after being released from prison in person every 90 days for the rest of his life. Judge Zmuda also granted the prosecutor’s request that will guarantee that the community where Williams eventually resides will be notified that he is living there.
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