By CHRISTINE L PRATT
By CHRISTINE L. PRATT
WOOSTER — A Wooster man accused of luring a 10-year-old girl into a wooded area and sexually violating her pleaded not guilty on Wednesday.
Ernest L. Bryan, 40, of 1905 Portage Road, Apt. 407, is charged in Wayne County Common Pleas Court with rape and gross sexual imposition. If convicted, Bryan faces 10 years in prison for the rape charge.
The charges stem from a July 27 incident that allegedly occurred in the area of the apartment complex shared by Bryan and the girl’s grandmother with whom she was spending the weekend.
On the evening of July 27, she was playing on the basketball court with an 8-year-old boy. The boy was being cared for by Bryan, according to Wooster Police, who were called to Wooster Community Hospital where the girl was examined after the alleged assault.
Both children agreed when Bryan asked if they wanted to play hide- and-seek and the girl remained with Bryan while the boy went to hide. As the two looked for the younger child, the girl said they saw a stray cat wander into a wooded area, said Capt. John Quicci, adding on Bryan’s suggestion the two followed the animal.
The girl told law enforcement it was there where the girl said Bryan sexually assaulted her, Quicci said.
The girl reported the assault to her grandmother and was taken by family to the hospital, where she was examined and interviewed, giving a detailed description of the incident and the suspect, Quicci said.
The girl identified Bryan in a photo lineup and led officers to the location of the assault, an area she identified by its proximity to a golf ball in the woods, Quicci said.
Bryan, who made no statement to investigators, has since been incarcerated at the Wayne County Jail with bond set at $500,000.
Reporter Christine L. Pratt can be reached at 330-287-1643 or e- mail [email protected]
Originally published by By CHRISTINE L. PRATT Staff Writer.
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