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Ben Braun

Braun pleads guilty in sex crime

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A 30-year-old Beulah man accused of luring a minor by computer pleaded guilty Tuesday afternoon during a hearing at the Stark County Courthouse.

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Ben J. Braun was arrested for using a computer to ask someone he believed was under the age of 15 to have sex with him and to engage in other sexual acts with him, according to his criminal complaint.

Braun committed the crime in June, July and August, according to the complaint.

He pleaded guilty Tuesday in exchange for a proposed plea agreement that would keep him out of jail but on house arrest for two months.

"We proposed 60 days of home monitoring because Mr. Braun has a pretty serious health condition," said Jim Hope, Stark County state's attorney.

Judge William Herauf accepted Braun's plea and ordered a presentence investigation.

Braun was communicating with a Dickinson Police officer who posed as a minor when the crime occurred, Hope said after the hearing.

"There was no actual victim," he added.

Should the investigation show the proposed plea agreement is appropriate, Braun will have to register as a sex offender, Hope said.

Braun would also have a suspended sentence of seven years in prison.

He faces a Class B felony, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

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