La. man pleads no contest to incest charges

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 23, 2009

VIDALIA — The aggravated incest trial of a Concordia Parish man ended Thursday when he pleaded “no contest” to the charges.

Charles Ables was on trial facing four counts of aggravated incest. He had originally pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.

The trial, which began Wednesday, did not hear testimony Thursday.

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A “no contest” pleading ultimately has the same effect as a “guilty” plea, Seventh Judicial District District Attorney Brad Burget said.

“Instead of saying, ‘I am guilty,’ it is saying, ‘I am not contesting the charges,’” Burget said.

The prosecution did not expect Ables to change his plea mid-trial, but Burget said it is not uncommon for defendants to do so.

“I have had defendants on different cases plead during trial, and I have had defendants plead after the jury has gone to deliberate,” Burget said. “Every case is different, but once they plead, that will conclude the trial.

“We are pleased the matter concluded without having to put a child through the trial.”

Following Ables’ pleading, Judge Glenn Gremillion ordered a pre-sentencing investigation to be performed by the Louisiana Department of Corrections Probation and Parole Division.

A pre-sentencing investigation is designed to give the judge background information in regard to the nature of the offense, and any past criminal nature and work history of the defendant, Burget said.

Ables will be sentenced Jan. 8. The minimum sentence for each count of aggravated incest is five years prison, and the maximum sentence is 20 years.

Ables was originally arrested in January 2007. The case involved one victim.