A West Mansfield-area teen faces more than 20 years’ incarceration for sexually assaulting multiple young girls in 2018 while on a public school bus.
Jordan Griffin, 16, of 23800 Davis Road, acknowledged guilt, and entered pleas of no contest Wednesday in Logan County Juvenile Court to an amended rape charge and three counts of gross sexual imposition, each of which carries a serious youthful offender specification.
The serious youthful offender specification allows prosecutors to seek a blended sentence. Blended sentences allow a judge to impose juvenile and adult sanctions after conviction.
Griffin had previously pleaded not guilty to nine charges and waived his right to a speedy trial.
He faces a maximum sentence of 26 years and could have to register as a Tier I sex offender for up to 15 years, according to Wednesday’s hearing.
Deputies of the Logan County Sheriff’s Office began investigating Griffin after the first victim’s mother reported an incident of sexual abuse Oct. 24, 2018.
The offenses occurred on a Benjamin Logan Local School District school bus to four victims under the age of 10.
Benjamin Logan administrators said at the time the juvenile offender was operating in an unofficial capacity as a bus route aide, which is why he was co-mingled among elementary students at the front of the bus.
Court documents state Griffin groped and exposed himself to the victims, and that he admitted to the offenses during law enforcement interviews.
Each of the girls report-ed to investigators that Griffin “tickled” them as a means to initiate the offenses.
Griffin admitted to the rape charge and pleaded no contest to three charges of GSI. Judge Kim Kellogg-Martin accepted the pleas and deemed Jordan adjudicated delinquent.
He is expected to be sentenced sometime in January. Jordan will under-go a a number of assessments and evaluations in the interim.
Prosecutors had requested the juvenile offender be detained in the Logan County Juvenile Detention Center pending his sentence, citing the, “very serious charges” against him.
He is currently home on a recognizance bond, and has been ordered to wear a global positioning satellite transmitter, and have no contact with the victims or minors.
Defense attorney Tina McFall requested the court not remand Jordan because getting his evaluators to come to the JDC would be difficult.