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Accused child rapist pleads to 8 felonies

LISBON — A Wellsville man who admitted to engaging in sexual conduct with four young children over multiple years, including rape with one child, will face sentencing at 1:30 p.m. Oct. 20 after pleading guilty to eight felony counts Thursday.

Timothy Coles, 36, Chester Avenue, appeared dressed in a suit before Columbiana County Common Pleas Court Judge Scott Washam with defense attorneys Charley Kidder and Joseph Phillips and accompanied by a woman who sat in the courtroom

Numerous family members of the victims were also present in the courtroom, accompanied by Wellsville Police Lt. Marsha Eisenhart and prosecutor’s office staff members. County Assistant Prosecutor Tammie Riley Jones spoke with them briefly after the hearing and was accompanied by county Assistant Prosecutor Steve Yacovone.

She said she’ll be recommending a 23-year prison term for Coles as part of the felony plea agreement, along with a designation as a Tier III sexual offender, meaning he won’t be allowed to reside within 1,000 feet of any school, preschool or daycare premises and he’ll be required to register his address with the sheriff’s office of the county where he resides every 90 days for the rest of his life.

Kidder said he’ll be requesting a lesser sentence for his client.

The case against Coles had been scheduled for a jury trial Monday, but Jones said a resolution was negotiated and the victims’ family members were consulted.

“They felt it was a reasonable resolution to this matter,” she said.

Coles entered a guilty plea to attempted rape, a first-degree felony; two counts of rape, each a first-degree felony lesser offense; attempted sexual battery, a third-degree felony; and four counts of gross sexual imposition, each a third-degree felony. Jones explained the two rape counts were amended to take away the age element which would have been punishable by life in prison.

According to the indictment and the elements of the crimes as described by Washam, the attempted rape occurred between July 23, 2014 and continued through July 22, 2017 and involved a child who was 10 years old when the attempts began. The two rape charges accused Coles of engaging in sexual activity with a second child, who was

6-years-old when the abuse began, on Nov. 13, 2012 and continued through Nov. 12, 2016 and Nov. 13, 2018.

The first child was also the victim of the attempted sexual battery and gross sexual imposition from July 23, 2014 through July 22, 2017, with the second child the victim of gross sexual imposition from Nov. 13, 2012 through Nov. 12, 2018.

Coles abused a third child beginning on May 1, 2017 when the child was 6 years old and continued through Dec. 31, 2019 and abused a fourth child between Jan. 1, 2019 when the child was 9 years through Dec. 31, 2019.

Jones said she’s requesting some of the counts be served concurrent to each other, but consecutive to other charges for a total of 23 years.

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