Man in prison for crash that killed his wife pleads guilty to sexual battery


A former Ottawa County man in prison for a Lake Township crash that killed his wife has pleaded guilty to sexual battery.

William Koperski, 40, was transferred from Grafton Correctional Institution for a plea hearing Thursday in the courtroom of Wood County Common Pleas Judge Joel Kuhlman.

He pleaded guilty to the amended charge of sexual battery, a felony of the third-degree, as part of an Alford plea.

As indicted, the charge was a second-degree felony, but the state removed the language that the victim was under the age of 13, said Wood County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Brian Boos.

Charges of rape and gross sexual imposition will be dismissed at sentencing.

By entering an Alford plea, Koperski asserted his innocence, but admitted that the evidence presented would likely persuade a judge or jury to find him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

The victim was not present in court but was made aware of the offer, Boos said.

Kuhlman said he could either impose a prison sentence of 12-16 months or a sentence of community control for up to five years.

With the community control, there are a lot of rules to follow, he said.

“That’s fine,” Koperski said.

Koperski also must register as a Tier III sexual offender, which will require him to register every 90 days for life.

Sentencing was scheduled for April 21.

Koperski is serving a 48-month prison sentence in Grafton after being sentenced in January 2022 for aggravated vehicular homicide, possession of a fentanyl-related compound and operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, a drug or a combination of them.

On May 30, 2020, Koperski, who lived in Clay Center at the time, was driving a 2005 Ford Explorer SUV southbound on I-280 when he traveled off the left side of the roadway, over corrected, overturned and came to final rest on the left side of the roadway.

His wife, Jessica Koperski, was a passenger in the vehicle and was ejected during the crash, which occurred on Interstate 280 near Moline Martin Road.

Both Koperskis were transported to Mercy Health-St. Vincent Medical Center in Toledo with serious life-threatening injuries. Jessica Koperski died three days later.

Alcohol impairment was a factor in the crash.

His release date on that charge is in August 2025.

Boos requested any sentence for the sexual battery charge run concurrent to this case.

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