LOWVILLE — With a Monday trial looming, a Croghan man pleaded guilty to a felony sex offense in Lewis County Court on Friday afternoon.

Judge John H. Crandall of Herkimer County accepted a guilty plea from Ryan D. Hoch, 22, to one count of felony first-degree sexual abuse.

As part of the plea deal, Hoch is expected to be sentenced to six months in county jail followed by 10 years under probation supervision and the payment of $1,425 in court fees, surcharges and fines.

Additionally, Hoch will be certified prior to his release from jail for the Sex Offender Registry, known as a SORA classification, and will be required to remain on the registry for between 20 years and the rest of his life.

Before accepting his plea, Judge Crandall verified that Hoch knew the identity of the victim, although her name was not revealed in the proceeding or in the indictment.

The survivor of Hoch’s actions, however, was in the courtroom to face her abuser, audibly weeping as the details were read.

Hoch admitted that he touched an intimate body part of his then 17-year-old victim while she was “physically helpless” and could not consent on Jan. 13 at a town of Martinsburg residence.

The plea satisfied six additional charges included in the indictment. They included two counts of first-degree attempted rape, one count of third-degree attempted rape and three other counts of first-degree sexual abuse, two of which involved “forcible compulsion.”

Prosecutor on the case, Oneida County Assistant District Attorney Laurie Lisi, said the plea deal was made with the consent of the victim.

Judge Crandall and Mrs. Lisi were brought in for the case because county Judge Daniel R. King and District Attorney Leanne K. Moser had recused themselves.

Although the sentencing proceeding is scheduled for April 3, Hoch, through his lawyer Michael Spano of Syracuse, requested to begin his sentence immediately and was remanded to county jail.

A permanent order of protection will be issued on behalf of the victim.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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