JEFFERSON — Two men accused of forcing themselves on juveniles in separate incidents were secretly indicted by the county grand jury last month.
Patrick A. Suter, 56, of 4985 Footville-Richmond Road, Andover, faces 10 first-degree felony counts of rape, two first-degree felony counts of kidnapping, one second-degree felony count of attempted rape and four third-degree felony counts of gross sexual imposition.
Those charges involve four juveniles who were between 4 and 13 years old when the offenses occurred, from August 2010 to May of this year, according to the indictment.
According to county Prosecutor Nicholas Iarocci, Suter, a relative of the children, reportedly took advantage of them individually over the course of several years during regular visits to his home in Richmond Township.
Some offenses reportedly occurred on a large, empty plot on his property, where Suter drove the children on an ATV, he said. Others reportedly occurred in a nearby shed or in the home when Suter's wife wasn't there.
"The oldest victim finally came forward recently, after she heard he may have been doing something to one of the other (children)," Iarocci said. "She thought she was the only victim."
Iarocci said the children were forensically interviewed individually at the Child Advocacy Center in Youngstown and by county Children Services Board detectives, and each gave similar accounts of the abuse.
Suter was secretly indicted Nov. 14, and taken into custody just days later. He pleaded not guilty at his arraignment late last month. His bond was set at $150,000 or 10 percent cash or surety. He remains in the Ashtabula County Jail.
Matthew J. McMullen, 31, of 6381 State Route 534 North, Windsor, faces one first-degree felony count of rape, one second-degree felony count of burglary, one third-degree felony count of intimidation of an attorney, victim or witness in a criminal case and five third-degree felony counts of gross sexual imposition.
Those charges involve the same girl, who was between 7 and 11 years old when the offenses occurred, from October 2014 to August of this year, according to the indictment.
McMullen was dating the girl's mother, Iarocci said. The mother learned of the abuse in August, after confronting the girl about inappropriate sexualized behavior she was exhibiting, he said. Officers from Roaming Shores Police Department and the county Sheriff's Department investigated.
"Once she's interviewed, they find out this has been going on for quite some time, not just in (the couple's home in) Roaming Shores, but also in their previous residence, in Windsor," he said.
McMullen went to the home after being accused to confront the child, Iarocci said.
"It's alleged that he entered the locked room of this child and was trying to get her to change her story," he said.
McMullen was also indicted Nov. 14 and arrested days later. He pleaded not guilty during his arraignment late last month. His bond was set at $200,000 or 10 percent cash or surety. He remains in the Ashtabula County Jail.