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Published: Wednesday, 1/9/2013

Ottawa man pleads guilty to robbery

An Ottawa County man has pleaded guilty in Lucas County Common Pleas Court to robbing a woman at knifepoint after helping her change a flat tire.

Craig Hallauer, 27, of 818 Reynolds Rd., Martin, pleaded guilty Wednesday to aggravated robbery and attempted abduction. A rape charge will be dismissed at sentencing in exchange for the plea.

Hallauer could receive 111/2 years in prison when Judge Frederick McDonald sentences him Jan. 30.

Lou Kountouris, an assistant county prosecutor, said the rape charge was dropped, in part, because the victim didn't want to face the defendant again in court. “She didn't want to go through it anymore,” Mr. Kountouris said. “It's been really traumatic for her, and she's been deeply affected by the entire experience.”

Mr. Kountouris said after the hearing that on Aug. 31 Hallauer and a friend stopped to help the woman change a flat tire in a parking lot near Woodville Road and Holmes Street.

After the tire was changed, the friend left, and Hallauer asked the woman for a ride. Mr. Kountouris said when they arrived at Logan and Oliver streets, Hallauer made sexual advances that the woman resisted. Hallauer pulled out a knife and raped her, then made the victim drive to Clayton and Oliver streets, and took a necklace, two bracelets, and two rings from her. The victim went to a nearby restaurant and called police.

Mr. Kountouris said Hallauer first told police he was out of town at the time, but DNA evidence linked him to the crime.

Hallauer entered an Alford plea, in which a defendant does not admit guilt but pleads guilty to a lesser charge to escape more severe penalties had the case gone to trial.

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