Putnam County man denies numerous sex offense charges

OTTAWA — The Gilboa man charged with human trafficking pleaded not guilty today to another 21 counts of child pornography.

Bond was continued at $100,000 for Gary L. Badertscher, 53, after his hearing in Putnam County Common Pleas Court.

The Putnam County grand jury last week handed up an indictment against Badertscher alleging illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material or performance, all fifth-degree felonies.

Badertscher allegedly in August in Putnam County possessed material showing young girls in a “state of nudity.”

Badertscher was previously charged with 46 counts of sex offenses. The charges include compulsion to involuntary servitude, endangering children, disseminating matter harmful to juveniles, pandering sexually oriented material involving a minor and illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material.

Prosecutors allege Badertscher coerced girls to participate in obscene material and enticed one to involuntarily take part, according to the indictment.

Officials have said the young women in the case are safe. All offenses charged against Badertscher are alleged to have occurred between 2012 and August in Putnam County.

Badertscher was first indicted soon before a fire destroyed his Dutchman Travel Trailer at 328 Sugar Ridge Road in Gilboa on Dec. 21. The State Fire Marshal’s Office ruled it arson.

Courier reporter Ryan Dunn will have more in Thursday’s newspaper.

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