CINCINNATI (AP) — An adoptive father who pleaded guilty to raping three young boys in his care in one county faces trial in another on related charges.

The man had been charged with 31 counts of felony rape in western Ohio’s Miami County, where he had been caring for the three boys and a girl in his home. Authorities have said that the 40-year-old man had adopted all of the children except for one of the boys, whom he was in the process of adopting.

The Associated Press isn’t naming the man to protect the identities of the children, whose ages range from 9 to 12.

Miami County prosecutors agreed to drop 25 counts and recommend a sentence of 60 years to life in prison in return for the adoptive father’s guilty plea Thursday to six counts of rape. The man could have faced life in prison without the possibility for parole.

Attorney Nick Gounaris, representing the adoptive father, said Friday that one of the main considerations for his client taking the plea agreement was that “it will keep his children from having to testify in court against him.”

Prosecutor Gary Nasal said that “first and foremost in our minds is the health, safety and wellbeing — both physical and psychological — of the children.”

He said another factor leading to the agreement was that the adoptive father agreed to testify in the trial of Jason Zwick, who is accused of raping one of the three boys who was in the adoptive father’s care. The trial for Zwick, 30, of Beaver Creek, had been scheduled for next week but has been continued to a later date to be set by the judge.

The adoptive father still faces seven related charges of rape of a child under 13 and complicity to rape in nearby Montgomery County. Gounaris declined to comment on whether any plea agreement was under consideration there.

Montgomery County prosecutor’s spokesman Greg Flannagan in Dayton said that the most current information he had was that the adoptive father was still scheduled for a Dec. 10 trial.

Zwick and Patrick Rieder, 32, of Dayton, also were arrested earlier this year on rape charges related to what authorities say was the prostitution of a boy under the age of 13 in meetings arranged by the adoptive father.

Rieder was indicted on four counts of rape of a child under 13 after authorities said the adoptive father took the boy to Rieder’s home and both men engaged in sexual conduct with him.

Rieder was indicted last week in Montgomery County on child pornography charges that include more than 40 counts of pandering sexually oriented material involving a minor.

Attorneys for Zwick and Rieder did not immediately return calls for comment Friday.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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