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State v. Mahler

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Sixth District, Ottawa

March 31, 2017

State of Ohio Appellee
v.
Robert Mahler Appellant

         Trial Court No. 15 CR 048

          James J. VanEerten, Ottawa County Prosecuting Attorney, and Joseph H. Gerber, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for appellee.

          Loretta Riddle, for appellant.

          DECISION AND JUDGMENT

          JENSEN, P.J.

         I. Introduction

         {¶ 1} Appellant, Robert Mahler, appeals the judgment of the Ottawa County Court of Common Pleas, sentencing him to 60 months in prison following his plea of guilty to one count of gross sexual imposition.

          A. Facts and Procedural Background

         {¶ 2} On May 13, 2015, appellant was indicted on two counts of gross sexual imposition in violation of R.C. 2907.05(A)(4), felonies of the third degree. These charges stemmed from an incident that occurred in September 2010, in which appellant inappropriately touched the genitals of a preschool girl, B.C.

         {¶ 3} Appellant made his initial appearance before the trial court on June 17, 2015, at which time he entered pleas of not guilty to the aforementioned charges. Following initial pretrial discovery, appellant's counsel filed a "suggestion of incompetency" with the court on July 7, 2015. In the filing, appellant's counsel stated that she had reason to believe appellant was not competent to stand trial. Consequently, appellant's counsel requested a competency evaluation for appellant under R.C. 2945.37. The trial court granted counsel's request on August 10, 2015, and ordered appellant to submit to a competency evaluation. Appellant was ultimately found to be competent to stand trial.

         {¶ 4} Three months later, appellant appeared before the trial court for a plea hearing. At the hearing, appellant agreed to plead guilty to one count of gross sexual imposition in exchange for the state's dismissal of the remaining gross sexual imposition count. Prior to accepting appellant's guilty plea, the court engaged appellant in the following discussion:

Q. How far did you go in school?
A. I graduated.
Q. Do you have any problems with reading?
A. Yeah, I still have problems with reading and ...

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