Sex offender admits charges

OTTAWA — Gary Badertscher pleaded guilty today to several felony counts of sex crimes involving minors.

Badertscher, 53, of Gilboa, was found guilty of six felonies. They include three counts of endangering children, a second-degree felony; disseminating matter harmful to juveniles, a fourth-degree felony; pandering sexual matter involving a minor, a fourth-degree felony; and illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material, a fifth-degree felony.

Badertscher conversed online with young girls and encouraged them to send him illicit photographs, Putnam County Assistant Prosecutor Todd Schroeder said in Putnam County Common Pleas Court.

He further possessed images of minor children in sexual activity, Schroeder said.

Badertscher grimaced and looked down as Schroeder broadly recounted the crime. No one from the public attended the brief court hearing.

Badertscher confirmed his actions when asked by Judge Randall Basinger. The judge further outlined his rights.

“You understand that if all of the sentences were ordered consecutively, it exposes you to a maximum term of 28 years in prison?” Basinger asked.

“Yes, sir,” Badertscher said.

If he ever leaves prison, Badertscher will be required to register as a Tier II sex offender for at least 25 years.

Among the counts prosecutors dismissed in plea negations were a first-degree felony of compulsion to involuntary servitude and dozens of fifth-degree felony child pornography charges.

The prosecution agreed to make no recommendation on Badertscher’s sentence.

Badertscher will be sentenced after a pre-sentence investigation. The hearing date has not yet been set.

Courier reporter Ryan Dunn will have more on Friday.

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