Man pleads to lesser charge, facing 18 months in prison

LISBON – A Lisbon man accused of raping an unconscious woman at a party last December pleaded guilty Tuesday to a lesser included offense of gross sexual imposition.

Richard Short, 46, whose last known address was East Washington Street, is facing up to 18 months in prison and a $5,000 fine.

The Columbiana County Common Pleas Court grand jury issued a secret indictment in March for charges of rape and sexual battery in connection with the incident.

According to Assistant County Prosecutor Timothy McNicol, Short and a woman, who was in the courtroom on Tuesday, were both at a party in Lisbon on the night of Dec. 6. At some point during the party, Short gave the woman a type of drug such as Xanax. Then while she was unable to resist due to the effects of the drug, some type of sexual contact occurred.

McNicol said at the time of sentencing he will make a motion to dismiss the second charge of sexual battery. He will also recommend a 17-month prison sentence for Short, who remains in custody where he has been since early April. Tuesday, Short asked Judge C. Ashley Pike to reduce his bond while he awaits sentencing but the request was denied.

Defense Attorney Richard Hura asked not only for a presentencing investigation for Short, but also for an evaluation to see if the Eastern Ohio Corrections Center would be a good option for Short because the crime was substance abuse related.

Sentencing is scheduled for Oct 20.