GREENVILLE, Ohio (WDTN) – A Darke County man on trial for sexual battery put an abrupt end to the proceedings.
Bryan Wombolt pleaded guilty to a lesser charge to avoid making the victim testify.
Bluebag Media reports that jury selection and opening statements were already complete when he changed his plea.
Wombolt was accused of having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old high school student. The relationship started in February 2014 when he was an auxiliary sheriff at her school.
Wombolt’s attorney, David Rohrer told Bluebag Media, “Bryan really didn’t want to make the victim have to testify, but facing a lifetime of registering as a sex offender was just too much. After weighing out all the options during lunch, we decided to negotiate with the prosecutor for some way to resolve the case without him having to register for life.”
He pleaded guilty to lesser charges of having unlawful sex with a minor. Two counts of sexual battery were dismissed.
Wombolt will be registered as a tier two sex offender. He will still have to register, but not for the rest of his life, but for 25 years.
He will be sentenced March 2, facing as many as 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.