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Suspected sex offender appears in court

OTTAWA — A Gilboa man charged with scores of sex offenses, including human trafficking, returned to court Thursday for one of the last scheduled hearings in his case.
Gary L. Badertscher, 53, appeared in Putnam County Common Pleas Court for an expected hearing to suppress the prosecutor’s evidence. He and his attorney instead withdrew the request.
Badertscher has been charged with 67 counts, including 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.
The charges range from first- to fifth-degree felonies.
Prosecutors allege Badertscher coerced teenage females to take part in obscene material and enticed one to involuntarily participate. The juveniles are now safe, prosecutors said.
Badertscher remains incarcerated on a $100,000 bond. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
All the alleged offenses occurred between 2012 and August 2013 in Putnam County, according to the indictments.
The judge ruled any plea must be entered by next Thursday. A jury trial remains scheduled for July 14.

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