A former Village of Highland council member was charged Tuesday, March 2 with five counts of rape for alleged incidents dating as far as back as 2010.

Aaron D. Ludwick, 37, of Highland is facing five first-degree felony counts of rape after being indicted by a Highland County grand jury.

According to the indictment, Ludwick has been charged with four counts of rape under 2907.02(A)(1)(b), which specifies that the victim in the case was under 13 years of age at the time of the alleged offenses. The allegations in these four counts stem from various periods in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014.

The fifth charge of rape alleges that Ludwick “purposely compelled” the victim “to submit by force or threat of force.” The alleged offense or offenses for this charge occurred in 2018.  

According to a village representative, Ludwick resigned from the Highland council Jan. 29, 2021. He was previously elected in 2017 for a term ending Dec. 31, 2021.

If convicted, Ludwick could face up to life without parole.

According to court records, Ludwick was arraigned Wednesday, March 3 in Highland County Common Pleas Court. A filing by the state recommended a $250,000 bond, but a $50,000 bond — the same amount as Ludwick's initial bond in Hillsboro Municipal Court — was continued. He was released on his own recognizance Wednesday.

An indictment is merely a charge and is not evidence of guilt.