Salem man pleads guilty to boy’s rape

LISBON – The Salem man accused of raping a young teenage boy in the men’s room at the Salem Memorial Building last December pleaded guilty in Columbiana County Common Pleas Court on Friday to two counts of rape.

Eric S. Holsinger, 51, faces up to 11 years in prison for the two first-degree felony rape charges.

Because the two crimes happened at the same time, the sentences must be served concurrently. The charges carry a mandatory prison sentence. He also could be fined up to $20,000.

Holsinger had faced two additional counts of rape and two counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor. The charges all involved the same 13-year-old boy, who Holsinger was reportedly found in the restroom with on Dec. 10, 2012. Two of the charges, including one of the rape counts Holsinger agreed to plead to, involved the boy’s inability to resist due to his mental or physical condition.

The boy had reportedly left the room during the Banquet in Salem, a free community meal served weekly at the Memorial Building. The boy had left to use the restroom and had not returned for an unusual length of time. Becoming concerned, a family member had gone to check on him and found him in a stall with Holsinger reportedly in the stall next to him. The boy’s father reported the sexual assault to Salem police later that night.

Sentencing is set for Aug. 23.

Holsinger had been scheduled for a jury trial on July 8, but decided instead to plead at a status conference, which was held on Friday.