Local man agrees to plea bargain, pleading guilty to child molesting


COLUMBUS, Ind. — A local man has entered a plea bargain agreement, pleading guilty to child molesting involving a 13-year-old girl as a Level 1 felony.

Joseph B. Tucker, 54, of 5012 N. Willa Way accepted a plea bargain that allows him to admit his guilt to one felony count of child molesting as a Level 1 felony. In exchange, prosecutors agreed to drop a second charge of child molesting, as well as a Class B misdemeanor of furnishing alcohol to a minor.

While a Level 1 felony is punishable in Indiana by 20 to 40 years in prison, if Tucker is declared a sexual predator, his sentence could be enhanced by adding another 10 years, according to Bartholomew Superior Court 1 Judge James Worton.

Sentencing is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 6 in Worton’s courtroom. Besides imprisonment, Tucker could be ordered to pay fines of up to $10,000.

For more on this story, see Tuesday’s Republic.