Appeals court upholds conviction of Trumbull County sex offender Elijah Peters | #childpredator | #kidsaftey | #childsaftey

WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) — An appeals court has upheld the conviction of a local sex offender who argued his competency in the case.

The 11th District Court of Appeals on Tuesday upheld the convictions of Elijah Peters, who had appealed the ruling of a Trumbull County Common Pleas judge who found him competent to stand trial on sex charges.

Peters, 21, pleaded guilty on July 21 to unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, two counts of gross sexual imposition, two counts of rape and one count of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles.

He had been accused of engaging in sexual conduct with two minor victims and sending nude pictures of himself to a third minor.

Judge Ronald Rice sentenced him to 10 to 15 years in prison. Peters is now incarcerated at Belmont Correctional Institution.

After his sentencing hearing in September, Peters appealed to the 11th District Court claiming the trial court erred in finding him competent to stand trial.

However, 11th District Judges Matt Lynch, John Eklund and Eugene Lucci ruled that there was reliable evidence to support the competency finding.

Dr. Przenmyslaw Kapalczynski, a staff psychiatrist at Heartland Behavioral Healthcare who worked with Peters for over four months, said while his IQ was borderline between an intellectual disability and below-average intelligence, he did not believe it impacted his competency.

The doctor told the trial court he believed Peters could assist in his own defense at trial and had an understanding of legal concepts.

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