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April 2014

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Hamilton student pleads no contest to sex charges

Daniel Koepke, 17, a former student at Hamilton High School, pleaded no contest in Washington County Circuit Court this morning to causing a child to view sexually explicit content and incest. Charges of sexual abuse of a child and exposing genitals were dismissed.

He was charged in July in connection with an incident involving a 6-year-old relative he was babysitting. Click here for more.

Judge Andrew T. Gonring found Koepke guilty of the two charges. Koepke will be in court for his sentencing at 2:30 p.m. Jan. 24.

Koepke is now considered a convicted felon and could face up to $25,000 and 12 1/2 years in prison under the causing a child to view sexually explicit content charge, and $100,000 and 40 years in prison under the incest charge.

"The court recognizes that there is some disagreement regarding who initiated the removal of clothes," Gonring said, to audible gasps from members of the victim's family, who were in court.

Gonring also said that the criminal complaint and Koepke's July statements would be considered in sentencing, and no new evidence was expected to be considered.

"I don't want the state to come into sentencing and say they found something different," Gonring said.

He added that regardless of what the attorneys for both sides recommend, he will make his own determination in sentencing.

Koepke's no-contest plea means a guilty plea cannot be used against him in the event the victim's family pursues civil litigation.


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