OTTAWA — A Leipsic man will be sentenced March 18 in Putnam County Common Pleas Court after admitting he fondled and kissed a 14-year-old girl.
Roberto Garza, 21, pleaded guilty Monday to a single count of gross sexual imposition, a felony of the fourth degree, during a hearing held before Judge Keith Schierloh.
After explaining all the legal ramifications of his guilty plea, Schierloh asked Garza “what happened” with the victim during the sexual encounters.
“I touched her breasts and kissed her. I knew her through church,” Garza replied. He said the incidents took place “at two different locations: behind the church in New Cleveland and at my house in Leipsic.”
Garza was indicted in August on two counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and two counts of gross sexual imposition, all fourth-degree felonies. The indictments allege that Garza engaged in sexual conduct with a minor by force or threat of force between Oct. 24, 2019, and Jan. 31, 2020.
Under the terms of a plea agreement with prosecutors, Garza agreed to plead to the single charge in return for the state’s dismissal of the three remaining counts.
Schierloh scheduled a sentencing hearing for March 18 and ordered a pre-sentence investigation. Garza will be labeled as a sex offender at the time of sentencing.