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A Lebanon man has pleaded guilty to raping a 14-year-old girl and could spend eight years in prison for his crimes.
Eric B. Reardon, 20, of 71 St. Catherine St., was indicted by a Taylor County grand jury in April. He was charged with first-degree rape and two counts of first-degree sexual abuse.
On Tuesday, Nov. 26, Reardon appeared before Taylor Circuit Court Judge Dan Kelly and pleaded guilty to second-degree rape and the sexual abuse charges.
According to a Taylor County Sheriff's Office news release, deputies responded to a complaint at a Raikes Hill Road home on Jan. 31.
The release states that a 14-year-old female claimed Reardon touched her in a sexual manner. The girl was taken to Taylor Regional Hospital for an examination.
Court records state that the rape happened on Jan. 31 and the sexual abuse the following two days.
According to an interview with the girl, which was entered into court records, Reardon touched her genitals without her consent while she was sitting in his lap.
Commonwealth's Attorney Shelly Miller has recommended that Reardon be sentenced to serve eight years in prison, with a period of conditional discharge to follow after his release, and be ordered to register as a sex offender.
Miller also recommended that Reardon attend sex offender treatment and not have contact with the girl until the conditional discharge period is over.
Records state that the plea agreement and recommendation were reached during a mediation hearing between those involved in the case, including Reardon's attorney C.B. Bates, a public defender with the Department of Public Advocacy in Columbia.
Formal sentencing in Reardon's case is set for Jan. 21.
Taylor County Sheriff's Deputies Ricky Underwood and Tim Coppage investigated the case against Reardon.
If convicted by a jury, Reardon could have been sentenced to as much as 30 years in prison.
Court records also list his address as Holly Hill Motel, Room 125, in Lebanon.