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Published: Friday, 2/22/2002

Sylvania Twp. man pleads guilty in assault on woman

A Sylvania Township man pleaded guilty yesterday in Lucas County Common Pleas Court to raping, beating, and stabbing a woman.

Andrew L. Sprague, 30, of 5946 Artwell Dr. pleaded guilty to rape and felonious assault. An attempted-murder charge will be dismissed at sentencing in exchange for the plea.

Sprague 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.

Sprague could be sentenced to 18 years in prison when Judge Robert Christiansen sentences him March 18. He will have a sexual-classification hearing prior to sentencing.

The woman was attacked Sept. 22 in her home.

Jim Vail, an assistant county prosecutor, said the victim, 44, was stabbed at least six times, struck with a metal barbell, and raped.

The woman fled from the house and was found in the street about 5 p.m. by neighbors. Mr. Vail said she was in a coma in a hospital for several days. However, she has recovered from the injuries she suffered in the attack.

Sprague was arrested by police shortly after the woman was found. He was with his brother, who lives near the victim.

Police said Sprague and his brother were returning from Toledo Hospital, where Sprague was treated for a hand injury he received in the attack.

Sprague served 10 years of a 40-year sentence he received in 1991 from Fulton County for theft, arson, breaking and entering, and aggravated burglary.

He was released on parole in February, 2001.

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