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City man withdraws plea in sex assault case

A Warren man who pleaded guilty to charges stemming from a sexual assault has withdrawn his guilty plea against the advice of his attorney.

Joseph William Madigan, 30, was charged by police back in June for the alleged incident that occurred at a Dartmouth St. residence.

The victim told police that she was staying in a tent in the backyard with Madigan where, ultimately, he raped her.

His guilty plea was to a single count of indecent assault — without consent back in November.

Charges of rape forcible compulsion and aggravated indecent assault were not prosecuted by the Commonwealth at that time as part of the plea agreement.

Those charges are now back on the table.

Madigan testified during Thursday’s proceeding but before he spoke his attorney, Robert Kinnear, made clear that it was his advice to not withdraw the plea.

Madigan said that he learned subsequent to his plea that no DNA evidence was discovered by police.

That finding was prepared prior to entering the plea but didn’t make its way to the attorneys involved until this month.

He said he entered the plea because he was “under duress” and said an additional witness has emerged that would speak on his behalf.

He was asked outright whether he is asserting his innocence.

“Yes,” Madigan responded.

Kinnear argued that his client has met the standard needed to withdraw the plea but might ultimately “reap what he sows” as a result.

First Assistant District Attorney Tatiana Malys asserted that Madigan’s defense had been that there was a consensual act, not that the incident didn’t happen.

“Are you saying the event never happened?” President Judge Maureen Skerda asked Madigan.

“Yes,” he responded.

“But you made admissions that are contrary,” Skerda said.

She reviewed the maximum possible penalties — 20 years in prison on the rape charge — and reminded him that the Commonwealth has admissions from him. Those admissions could likely be used as evidence at trial.

However, she said she would permit the withdrawal of the plea “based on the assertion of innocence” and receipt of the DNA evidence and told Madigan his case would be placed on the next trial term.

Madigan remains behind bars at the Warren County Jail on $50,000 bail.

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