|BG man charged with rape pleads guilty to amended charge of assault|
|Written by Sentinel-Tribune Staff|
|Thursday, 24 October 2013 11:49|
A Bowling Green man on trial for rape pleaded guilty Wednesday to an amended charge of assault after his trial had already begun.
Lee Wonder, 25, of East Napoleon Road, pleaded no contest and was found guilty of the first-degree misdemeanor assault charge in the court of Wood County Judge Alan R. Mayberry.
Wonder had initially been indicted on one count of rape, a first-degree felony, following a Feb. 24, 2012, incident involving a then-21-year-old woman that he had reportedly met online.
A jury had already been seated in Wonder's trial on Tuesday, and both sides had presented opening statements by late afternoon.
However, Prosecuting Attorney Heather Baker said in court on Wednesday that "evidentiary issues" with some witnesses became apparent during jury selection, prompting the amendment in the charge.
Wonder could face up to 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine when he is sentenced on Nov. 22 at 3 p.m.
However, Baker indicated that the state would be seeking a sentence of community control sanctions, sex offender treatment counseling, and a suspended 180-day jail term. Wonder would also be prohibited from having any contact with the victim.
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