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Carter arraigned, pleads innocent to multiple rapes

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — A Belmont County man pleaded innocent Thursday to five counts of raping children.

Greg Eugene Carter, 52, was arraigned and pleaded innocent to the first-degree felony charges. Carter’s was one of many cases heard by Belmont County Common Pleas Judges Frank Fregiato and John Vavra on Thursday. Carter entered his plea before Fregiato.

Carter’s pretrial status conference and plea agreement hearing were set for Oct. 19, and his trial date is Oct. 27.

Attorney Tom Meyers, representing Carter during the hearing, asked Fregiato to consider adjusting Carter’s $500,000 bond.

“We would ask that that bond be reduced substantially. That’s an exorbitant amount. My client is a longtime resident of St. Clairsville, Ohio, and he has absolutely no intent on contact with the (alleged) victims. We ask that a reasonable bond be set,” he said.

“This court is thinking about adjusting the bond, but not the way you’re thinking,” Fregiato said. “There’s five counts of felony-one rape.”

Bond was set at $1 million.

Although Meyers said Carter is or has been a St. Clairsville resident, the prosecutor’s office provided a Martins Ferry address for the defendant. It lists his address as 209 Eighth St., Martins Ferry.

According to Assistant Prosecutor Joseph Vavra, the alleged offenses occurred from 2017 to 2020 and involved two children who were ages 8 and 10 at the time they reportedly began.

“The victims came forward,” Vavra said.

Vavra said alleged offenses happened in the St. Clairsville area.

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