TROY, Ohio (WDTN) – A Piqua man, who is accused of committing two separate acts of sexual battery, or non-consensual touching, with a 15-year-old female victim has changed his plea from ‘guilty’ to ‘not guilty’.
Thirty-eight-year-old Anthony C. Dowell is accused of touching the victim at a private residence in January, according to the Piqua Police Department. Dowell knew the victim. Dowell also maintains his innocence, according to our partners at The Piqua Daily Call.
Dowell entered a plea to amended charges of two counts of child endangering and misdemeanor gross imposition charges as a plea agreement with the state on Nov. 14. He was indicted by a grand jury on two counts of felony sexual battery in June, according to court records.
In a letter to Judge Jeannine Pratt dated Dec. 20, Dowell stated he felt manipulated into pleading guilty to protect his wife from implicating herself — if he were to continue with a jury trial to face the charges. Dowell’s wife was reportedly home during the incident.
Judge Pratt asked Dowell a list of questions regarding his plea prior to his guilty plea entry on Nov. 14, according to the Piqua Daily Call.
Tuesday, Judge Pratt asked Dowell if he understood the proceedings. Dowell replied he entered a plea of guilty “reluctantly” and now wanted to withdraw the plea as he stated in his letter.
Judge Pratt said she would issue a decision on Jan. 6 following Watkins’ and Feinstein’s briefs to the court regarding the hearing.
A new sentencing date would be considered following the court’s decision. Dowell could face a maximum of 10 years in prison, according to the Piqua Daily Call.