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Accused Delaware Rapist Retracts Guilty Plea, Prepares for Trial

DELAWARE (Tom Bosco) -- A man who admitted to sexually abusing a female relative before fleeing the justice system for 12 years was supposed to learn his fate Friday afternoon.

That didn't happen.

Frank Hertel had pleaded guilty to rape earlier this year but, recently, claimed there was a mistake in his plea agreement.

He withdrew his plea, saying the sentences he was to receive weren't accurately shown to him. He is now scheduled to go to trial in March.

Hertel could have gotten 10.5 to 43 years in prison; now he faces a life sentence.

The prosecutor said the alleged mistake was an oversight.  

Hertel was accused of sexually abusing his relative in 1993 in Delaware. He wasn't charged with rape, however, until he had moved to Arizona. When the charges were filed, he fled to Germany.

Hertel, now back in the states, faces 20 years in Arizona and is also being prosecuted in Delaware.

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