POMEROY, Ohio – A Meigs County farmer has entered a guilty plea to a bill of information to one count of Gross Sexual Imposition, a felony of the fourth degree.

Edward J. Holter, 56, of Pomeroy, Ohio, entered a guilty plea to the bill of information on March 5, 2018 involving the employment of teenage females at his farm located at Flatwoods Drive. The victims were working on the farm at the time of the incidents ranging in conduct from sexual harassment to physical contact which led to the charge of Gross Sexual Imposition. By entering the plea to the bill of information, the charges against Holter do not more forward through the court process and to a grand jury for indictment. The guilty plea and subsequent conviction stand the same, however.

Angela R. Canepa, special prosecutor from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, represented the prosecution in the case before Judge D. Dean Evans. Judge I. Carson Crow recused himself from the case. Holter is represented by attorney Jeffery L. Finley of Gallipolis, Ohio.

In the agreement, Canepa outlined the proposed sentencing recommended by the state which included five years of community control, as well as resign from various groups he is involved with including from the Meigs County Fair Board in which he has been a long time member. He would also be required to be sentenced as a Tier I sex offender.

Judge Evans, however, does not have to follow the recommendation of the state concerning sentencing which has been scheduled for April 25, 2018 which allows for a pre-sentence investigation to take place. At that time, the victims may address the court as well.

In addition to farming, Holter is a retired school bus driver with the Eastern Local School District.