A Cincinnati man was sentenced to life in prison Friday in Butler County Common Pleas Court after pleading guilty to the rape of four children.
Rodrigo Medina, 47, was indicted by a Butler County grand jury in December on seven counts of gross sexual imposition, seven counts of rape, four counts of sexual battery and four counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.
In April, Medina pleaded guilty to four counts of rape. One victim was 9 at the time of the assault. The remainder of the charges were dismissed in exchange for the plea.
Medina faced the maximum sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole after 55 years. Judge Dan Haughey gave him the maximum, meaning he will not be eligible for parole until age 102.
The sentencing was delayed after Medina filed a motion in May to withdraw his guilty plea because he was innocent and “that he did not understand the advice he received, specifically on the topics of penetration and force as it applies to rape; that he never admitted conduct to counsel; that there was a miscommunication between counsel, interpreters and client and that he is afraid.”
Medina’s attorney also filed a motion to withdraw as his attorney due to a conflict of interest. In his motion to withdraw his plea, Medina alleged ineffective assistance of counsel.
Both Medina and the former defense attorney testified during a hearing last week and the judge denied Medina’s motion to withdraw the plea before sentencing.
Haughey said pleas are only permitted to be withdrawn before sentencing if there is a reasonable and legitimate reason or to correct an injustice. He found no legitimate reason to permit the withdrawal and concluded the former attorney had represented Medina “diligently and responsibly.”
The judge said the former defense attorney met with Medina at least six times with a Spanish interpreter in the jail and at length before the sentencing hearing. Medina was provided an interpreter for all hearings and the plea forms with possible punishment were provided in Spanish to Medina before he signed them.
Haughey noted Medina only decided to withdraw his plea after receiving a phone call from an angry family member who did not want to believe he committed the crimes.
The 9-year-old girl’s parents reported an in-home security camera showed Medina had inappropriate contact with their daughter, according to the court records. The victim also described to investigators sexual acts Medina performed on her.
David Washington, Medina’s new attorney, said his client “denies the allegations, despite his guilty plea.” Washington said he would be filing an appeal.
The mother of one of the victims gave an emotional statement through an interpreter.
“I would like to ask the judge to do justice for my daughter for all the others who we know and don’t know,” she said. “My life is now in pieces. My health has deteriorated. I ask myself ‘why us?’ We considered him as part of our family. I believe the laws in the United States are just and will do the right thing,” the mother told the judge.