Little Hocking Man Pleads Guilty To Rape Charges

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A Little Hocking man charged in 2012 with six counts of rape has changed his innocent plea to that of guilty and could face up to 33 years in prison.

Alan Brigner, 35, appeared in Athens County Common Pleas Court Tuesday and entered into a plea agreement with the Athens County Prosecutor's Office that allowed him to plead guilty to half of those charges in exchange for the remaining counts to be dismissed.

Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn explained that the prosecutor's office has agreed not to ask the court for more than a 22-year prison sentence for Brigner.

According to court documents, between the dates of July 1, 2011 and Sept. 30, 2012, Brigner raped a 13-year-old girl on at least six different occasions. Blackburn said that three of the rape counts alleged that force was used during the commission of the offense while the other three alleged that the girl was intoxicated during the incidents. The counts alleging the involvement of alcohol were dismissed, Blackburn said, because there was no evidence that alcohol was involved and the charges would have been dismissed prior to trial anyway.

Brigner was scheduled to be tried Tuesday but the prosecutor's office was informed Monday that a deal had been accepted. With prison, Brigner will also be required to register as a sex offender.

Blackburn said he was satisfied with the outcome and the fact that the victim would not have to testify.

Brigner was released own his recognizance after being indicted on the charges in January of 2013. He has appeared at all required hearings and is still free on his own recognizance. He is scheduled to be sentenced on April 29 at 1:30 p.m.