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Cops and Courts

Justin Christian pleads guilty to rape, kidnapping, burglary in Cleveland (VIDEO)

  • Christian-2-jpg

    Justin Christian pleads guilty to rape, kidnapping and burglary in Cleveland on Thursday.

    STEVE MANHEIM / CHRONICLE

  • Christian-jpg

    Justin Christian enters Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court on Thursday, Sept. 14.

    JODI WEINBERGER / CHRONICLE

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CLEVELAND — The man accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a girl in Cleveland, and attempting to abduct a girl from her Furnace Street home in Elyria, has pleaded guilty.

Justin Christian, 30, pleaded guilty to kidnapping, rape and burglary in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court today and sentenced to 35 years in prison. 

His trial was scheduled to start Monday, but had been continued in light of plea bargain negotiations.

Christian, of Lorain, was arrested in Elyria in December after a massive investigation. He was turned over to police in Cleveland, where more serious allegations were made.

Police believe Christian tried to abduct a 10-year-old girl from her Furnace Street home in February 2016. Then, in May, he abducted a 6-year-old girl from her home on West 104th Street, police say, and sexually assaulted her before she was released about 17 hours later.

Local, state and federal investigators were led to Christian after Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine authorized the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation to conduct the first familial DNA search in the state.



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