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Two plead in sex abuse cases

Two men accused of sex crimes in separate cases were each sentenced to prison Wednesday during appearances in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court. Both men were ordered to register as sex offenders.

James H. Robinson, 42, of 1212 S. Fifth St., Ironton, entered an Alford plea of guilty to two counts of first-degree rape involving two different victims under the age of 16. Judge Charles Cooper sentenced Robinson to 10 years in prison and to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

In exchange for his guilty plea, four other counts of rape and six counts of sexual battery were dismissed.

The sexual battery charges were for the same incidents as the rape charges.

Authorities said if the case had gone to a jury, the jury would have had the choice of convicting Robinson of either rape, if it had determined Robinson used force, or sexual battery, if they determined he had not used force.

An Alford plea of guilty means Robinson does not specifically admit his guilt but agrees the offer made to him was too good to pass up.

Also Wednesday, David R. Barbour II, 36, of 100 Front St., Proctorville, pleaded guilty to two counts of gross sexual imposition.

He was sentenced to four years in prison.

“This is a fair and reasonable resolution of the matter,” Barbour’s attorney, Derick Fisher said.

Cooper ordered Barbour to register as a sex offender for the next 25 years.