Mecca man charged in rape of 5-year-old

Tribune Chronicle

WARREN — A Mecca man accused of raping a 5-year-old girl is facing six felony counts following an indictment by a Trumbull County grand jury.

Andrew J. Austin, 27, pleaded not guilty Thursday morning in his first court appearance before Trumbull County Common Pleas Court Judge Ronald J. Rice. Austin is charged with three counts of rape that carry potential life sentences because of the girl’s age, and three counts of gross sexual imposition.

According to the indictment, Austin is accused of raping the child sometime this spring and summer. The charges stem from an investigation conducted by the Trumbull County Task Force on crimes against children, according to Assistant Trumbull County Prosecutor Gabriel Wildman.

The offenses took place at a Hoagland Blackstub Road home, the report states.

Rice set bond at $500,000 for Austin, who also was ordered to have no contact with the victim or her family. As another condition of posting bond, Rice ordered Austin to be be placed on supervised house arrest.

The case has been assigned to Common Pleas Court Judge W. Wyatt McKay with a pretrial scheduled for Wednesday.

Trumbull County Jail records show Austin was still in custody as of Thursday afternoon. He was booked into the jail at 11:39 a.m. on Aug. 2, the record shows.