By EILEEN MCCLORY
STAFF WRITER

A 33-year-old Findlay man pleaded no contest Thursday to seven counts of child pornography — pandering sexually-oriented material involving a minor. Each offense is a fourth-degree felony.

The man, Ronald Hoke, was originally charged in March 2017 with 13 counts of child pornography. The alleged incidents occurred in 2014.

The no contest plea means Hoke did not dispute the facts of the case, but did not admit guilt.

Hoke is legally blind, and told Hancock County Common Pleas Judge Jonathan Starn during his plea hearing Thursday that he has Asperger’s syndrome, a milder form of autism. People with this condition can have high intelligence and narrow, sometimes obsessive interests, but lack social skills, according to the Associated Press.

Starn found Hoke guilty of all seven counts during the hearing.

Hoke is scheduled for sentencing on Sept. 17.

A plea deal includes a joint recommendation from the Hancock County prosecutor’s office and Hoke’s defense attorney. The recommendation includes five-year community control sanctions and 180 days in jail, with 120 served and 60 suspended.

Hoke must also register as a Tier II sex offender, a middle ground between the least serious and most serious registrations under Ohio law.

McClory: 419-427-8497
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Twitter: @CourierEileen

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