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Published: Friday, 11/18/2005

Republic man found guilty of molesting girl

TIFFIN - A Republic, Ohio, man was found guilty yesterday in Seneca County Common Pleas Court of sexually molesting a 13-year-old girl.

Mark A. Kesler, 41, was found guilty by Judge Michael Kelbley after a two-day bench trial on seven counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and one count of attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.

Kesler was found not guilty on two counts of rape by force involving the same girl when she was 12 years old.

Kesler sexually abused the girl in his home repeatedly for more than a year from spring, 2004, through July, 2005, Seneca County Prosecutor Ken Egbert, Jr., said.

In June, 1991, Kesler was convicted of gross sexual imposition and sentenced to one year in prison. After serving two months, Judge Kelbley granted an early release in August, 1991.

Kesler now faces up to 36 1/2 years in prison for the eight felony offenses and a sexual predator classification. A sentencing hearing has not been scheduled.

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