Weather Forecast


Man accused of sex crime pleads not guilty

A 29-year-old Beulah man pleaded not guilty to luring a minor by computer during a hearing at the Stark County Courthouse Monday afternoon.

Ben J. Braun waived his right to have a preliminary hearing Monday, which is intended to establish probable cause that a crime was committed.

Braun allegedly used a computer to ask a person who he believed to be under the age of 15 to have sexual intercourse with him. He also is accused of requesting the recipient engage in other sexual acts with him, according to his criminal complaint.

He allegedly committed the crime in June, July and August in Stark County, according to the complaint.

Judge Zane Anderson ordered Braun's bond, which was originally set at $5,000, be reduced to $1,500 during Monday's hearing.

Braun's attorney, Mark Greenwood, and Stark County Assistant State's Attorney Jim Hope requested the bond reduction.

"The reason for that, as the court well knows, is that the two primary considerations in the setting of bond is A, will the defendant appear and B, does he present an immediate risk of harm or danger to the community," Hope said.

Braun bonded out of jail on Aug. 12, Hope said.

"Nothing has come to our attention as violating his bond," Hope said. "We still believe that the cash bond being posted is sufficient enough to make him appear."

The allegations against Braun constitute a Class B felony, which has a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.