A local man avoided a statutory rape conviction but did enter a guilty plea to attempted sexual battery by an authority figure for an incident involving a girl about to turn 14.
Joshua Frank Walta, 22, entered a guilty plea Wednesday before Judge Bart Stanley and was handed a four-year prison sentence. He must register as a non-violent sex offender and have no contact with the girl.
“He had access to her because it was his girlfriend’s daughter,” said District Attorney General Lisa Zavogiannis. “That’s why he was charged as an authority figure.”
According to the indictment handed down in February by the Warren County grand jury, the incident occurred in January 2019, one day before the girl’s 14th birthday.
The indictment claims Walta “did engage in unlawful sexual contact with (the girl).”
The indictment goes on to say, “Joshua Frank Walta had, at the time of the offense, parental or custodial authority over (the girl) and used the authority to accomplish the sexual contact, said conduct constituting the offense of sexual battery by an authority figure.”