VAN WERT, Ohio A Van Wert man was sentenced yesterday to four years in prison for engaging in sexual activity with a 9-year-old girl earlier this year.
During a hearing in Van Wert County Common Pleas Court, Judge Charles Steele refused to let Joshua J. Schmidt, 22, withdraw his guilty plea to a charge of gross sexual imposition.
Schmidt was indicted on a charge of rape but later pleaded guilty to the lesser charge as part of a plea agreement.
In sentencing Schmidt to prison, Judge Steele noted that the defendant had a serious previous criminal record and said a prison term was needed to protect the public.
According to an investigation by Delphos police and the Van Wert County Children Services Agency, Schmidt was involved in sexual activity with the girl at a Delphos home in April.