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Ex-convict faces life if convicted in rape trial

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Gergely

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PAULDING, Ohio A 26-year-old Paulding County man faces life in prison if convicted on a charge of raping a 3-year-old girl on Aug. 31 less than six months after he was released from prison where he was incarcerated for pandering sexual material involving minors in Defiance County.

Steven John Gergely, who pleaded not guilty to rape last week in Paulding County Common Pleas Court, was granted judicial release from prison March 14 by Defiance County Common Pleas Judge Joseph Schmenk.

Gergely had been imprisoned since Jan. 4 after violating his probation.

He was being held in the Paulding County jail in lieu of a $75,000 bond.

He was booked into the jail on a probation violation Aug. 31 after he was accused of raping the girl, who knows him, in Grover Hill, Ohio, in southeastern Paulding County.

Gergely is to appear in court again Nov. 14 for a pretrial hearing and Dec. 6 for a jury trial.

In Paulding County, Gergely has long been a familiar figure to the law, Sheriff David Harrow said. He has been held in the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio, Stryker, four times in the last two years.

He told his jailers there he was employed in auto repair, was married, and had four children.

His three-month stay in the Madison Correctional Institution early this year was his second in the Ohio prison system.

He also was imprisoned from late 1999 to 2000 for a theft conviction from southwest Ohio s Highland County.

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