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Published: Saturday, 2/23/2008

North Toledo man charged in rapes of 3 won't go on trial until March

The rape trial for an 18-year-old North Toledo man, originally scheduled for Monday in Lucas County Common Pleas Court, has been postponed to March 3, forcing back his trial on aggravated robbery charges, which will start immediately afterward.

Andre Winters of 222 East Weber St. is charged with three rapes of teen girls, two of whom were on their way to school in the morning when they were abducted.

He also is charged with three counts of kidnapping in those cases and three more counts of aggravated robbery involving at least two victims.

If convicted on all counts, he faces more than 100 years in prison.

Judge Ruth Ann Franks granted the request by the county prosecutor's office to postpone the rape trial by one week. Judge Franks added that at the conclusion of the rape trial, the court will begin to assemble a second jury to consider the robbery charges. Defense attorney Adrian Cimerman did not object to the delay.

Mr. Winters was arrested Nov. 28 and charged with the Sept. 25 rape of a 16-year-old Waite High School student and the Oct. 18 rape of a 15-year-old Woodward High School student. Both girls were on their way to school in the morning and were allegedly raped at gunpoint.

He also was charged with raping a 14-year-old girl about 4:30 a.m. Aug. 23 near Central Avenue and Lagrange Street.

He remains a suspect in a fourth rape, authorities said.

Mr. Winters is in the county jail in lieu of a $1.75 million bond.

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