A former Logan County school superintendent charged with child rape for allegedly assaulting a young girl has accepted a plea deal as his trial was set to begin.
Patrick O’Donnell, the former superintendent for Indian Lake Local Schools, entered an Alford plea to a charge of gross sexual imposition on Wednesday in a Logan County courtroom in Bellefontaine.
The plea by O'Donnell, 52, means he doesn't admit to the charge but acknowledges there's enough evidence to convict him.
O'Donnell had pleaded not guilty to charges including rape of a child younger than 13.
A court affidavit said the child alleged O'Donnell touched her inappropriately.
O'Donnell's attorney says the plea deal was preferable to the possibility of a mandatory life sentence if he had been convicted of the rape charge.
Prosecutors say O’Donnell had sexual contact with a girl between January 2013 and October 2016 at a condominium in Russell’s Point. The victim is now 16 years old.
O’Donnell’s plea also mean charges against his wife will be dropped. Heather O’Donnell was charged with not reporting the victim’s allegations.