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Published: Thursday, 1/12/2006

Man sent to prison on sex charges

A 33-year-old man who sexually assaulted and exposed a young girl to pornography on the Internet was sentenced yesterday in Lucas County Common Pleas Court to nearly 3 1/2 years in prison.

Richard Espino, who now lives near Martin in Ottawa County, sexually abused a 13-year-old girl and showed her pornography at his former home in Oregon from July, 2004, through September, 2004, prosecutors said.

Espino entered an Alford plea Nov. 28 to two counts of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles and one of attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor. In an Alford plea, a defendant does not admit guilt but pleads guilty to a lesser charge to escape more severe penalties had the case gone to trial.

Judge Gary Cook, who found Espino guilty of the offenses, imposed a 45-month prison sentence - three months shy of the maximum or the crimes.

Judge Cook said the conduct of the defendant was "despicable" and "unacceptable for any member of the community."

Espino also was classified as a sexually oriented offender, the least serious category for defendants who commit sex crimes.



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