Former firefighter pleads guilty to one count of criminal sexual conduct with minor

William Hess, 57, of Goshen, was initially charged in 2010 and faced multiple charges including child molesting, sexual misconduct with a minor and child solicitation. All other charges were dismissed.

Posted on May 22, 2014 at 1:52 p.m.

GOSHEN — Former Foraker firefighter William Hess pleaded guilty Thursday, May 22, to one count of criminal sexual conduct with a minor, a Class C felony.

Hess appeared Thursday afternoon in Elkhart Circuit Court for the plea hearing. He will be back for sentencing July 17.

Hess sat silently at the defense table throughout the proceedings, saying only “yes” and “no” in response to questions from Judge Terry Shewmaker.

All other charges, which included child molesting and child solicitation, were dropped.

Deputy Prosecutor Susan Snyder said that she spoke with Hess’s three victims and their families to make sure they were comfortable with the plea.

According to plea agreement, he will be sentenced to maximum of eight years, to be served on probation.

Hess, 57, of Goshen, was initially charged in 2010.

The allegations were made in the summer of 2010 by a boy who at the time was in his early teens, according to the probable cause affidavit in Hess' case. The boy's testimony led police to two other victims later in 2010 and in 2011.

The family of one of the victims also filed a lawsuit against Hess in Superior Court 3. The case is pending, according to court files.

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