FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – It was supposed to be a smooth hearing.
A man accused of child molesting and rape had a plea deal on the table that called for him to serve 18 years in prison – far less than the upwards of 32 to more than 100 years he’s currently facing.
To get that plea deal, though, he needed to admit to an Allen Superior Court magistrate just what he did that made him guilty of the criminal charges filed against him.
And that’s not what 26-year-old Aine Noh was willing to do Thursday.
Despite uttering the word “guilty” at least once during the hearing, Noh never once admitted to anything revolving around charges of rape and child molesting.
He refused to admit to molesting a young girl who claimed Noh put her in a headlock, he refused to admit that he threw her to the ground before holding a knife to her throat, and he refused to admit that he ever threatened to kill her or took photos of her and another girl undressed.
All of those are allegations two girls reported to Fort Wayne Police, sparking an investigation into Noh.
The demeanor of Noh, facing nine counts of sexual assault against two young girls that include rape, child molesting, child exploitation, possession of child pornography, voyeurism and sexual battery, was hardly repentant during the hearing.
Allen County prosecutors offered Noh a deal that called for him to plead guilty to a Level 3 Felony count of child molesting and a Level 3 Felony count of rape. In return, prosecutors would recommend to a judge at his sentencing that Noh serve 18 years in prison and prosecutors would drop the other charges against him.
What Magistrate Samuel Kierns needed to hear, though, is what made Noh guilty.
Straight from his own mouth.
“I did sex,” is what Noh first said through his Burmese interpreter.
“Did these two young people want to have sex with you?” Keirns asked.
“I think yes. She came into my room,” Noh replied.
That’s not what a probable cause affidavit written by Fort Wayne police investigator said, though.
“Victim 1 said the defendant started to threaten her and told her if she did not sleep with him, he would kill her and the defendant told Victim 1 that he had guns,” the investigator wrote. When she tried to get away from Noh, “he threw her to the ground and put her into a headlock.”
These and similar actions went on from August through January of this year, court documents said.
One victim was 17 and the other was 12.
Keirns pressed on during the hearing.
“Did she say no?” Keirns asked.
“She didn’t say no,” Noh responded.
“Did you threaten to post a video of her?” Keirns asked.
“I showed her the video,” Noh said, still refusing to admit why he was guilty.
“Did you tell her you’d put it on the internet?” Keirns asked.
“No,” Noh said.
That ended the back and forth.
Keirns did not accept the guilty plea.
Noh’s attorney, Ryan Gardner, walked away with a handful of papers while the interpreter stayed with Noh to explain he was going back to jail. Noh got up chained to another Burmese man and walked over to the probation officer with him, awaiting to be escorted by security.
Noh will now face a jury at a trial scheduled to start May 23 in front of Allen Superior Court Judge Fran Gull.
Gardner said problems can arise when working through legal matters with an interpreter.