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Richard L. Merryman

Competency check next step for man charged with twin counts of child rape

A Canton man charged with two counts of rape will have his competence checked to determine if he is able to stand trial.

Richard L. Merryman, 20, was charged with two counts of rape after he allegedly raped a 4-year-old boy and a 5-year-old boy on the same day.

Merryman was arrested April 2 after he allegedly lured the 5-year-old victim into a bathroom stall at the Albany Community Center, secured the door, pulled down the child’s pants, touched his buttocks and performed oral sex on him, according to court documents.

Merryman allegedly raped the 4-year-old victim at the center on the same day, said Athens County Assistant Prosecutor Keller Blackburn.

An order for Merryman’s competence to be evaluated was filed in Athens County Court of Common Pleas April 15.  Merryman will be examined at the Forensic Diagnostic Center of District Nine.

A written report of the evaluation must be submitted within 30 days after the date of the order, according to court documents.

Merryman is currently being held at the Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail on $500,000 bond.

Because the victims were both under the age of 10, Merryman could be sentenced to a minimum of 15 years in prison, if convicted at a trial. He also has the possibility of being sentenced to life without parole.

Merryman had two previous charges of domestic violence and battery in Florida and was a non-registered sex offender.

Merryman’s arraignment is scheduled for today at 8:30 p.m.


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