MIAMI COUNTY — After a trial jury dismissed due to a mistrial and a second trial resulting in a hung jury, a convicted sex offender entered an Alford plea to third-degree felony abduction charge in Miami County Common Pleas Court on Monday.
Charles Hiser, 37, of Troy, entered the Alford plea, which is a guilty plea while asserting innocence, to a bill of information on the felony charge of abduction. As part of the plea agreement, the state dismissed the eight counts of felony rape charges and recommended a sentenced of 18 months to the court. The maximum sentence could be 36 months upon sentencing.
Judge Christopher Gee said the Alford plea was unusual. Judge Gee found Hiser understood the Alford plea, the new felony charge and found the Alford plea reasonable in Hiser’s case.
Hiser is not eligible for community control and was ordered to complete a pre-sentence investigation.He will be sentenced on April 9.
Upon his release in prison, Hiser will serve three years of mandatory post-release control. Hiser has been incarcerated since Feb. 8, 2017, and remains in jail on a $50,000 bond.
Miami County Assistant Prosecutor Janna Parker said she received feedback from both juries and was concerned a third trial would be a challenge to convict Hiser, a convicted sex offender. Parker also noted the impact on the minor victim to give testimony for a third time was also a factor for the new charge and the joint plea agreement with the public defenders Steve Layman and Stephen King.
On Dec. 15, a second jury had deadlocked on a vote of 9-3 to convict Hiser. The first trial in October 2017, visiting Judge William Wolfe Jr. dismissed the jury and declared a mistrial due to one or more jurors who admitted to the court they were exposed to “out-of-court” coverage of the case.
Hiser was indicted by a grand jury for one count of first-degree rape involving a victim 10 years old or younger, and seven counts of first-degree rape involving a victim less than 13 years old. The alleged assault occurred over the span of six years. The victim was known to Hiser.
Hiser was convicted in 2007 of misdemeanor sexual imposition after an offense in December 2007 in Piqua. In 2013, Hiser was found guilty for failure to provide notice of residence change as required by his Tier I sex offender classification. He must register through 2022.