A former Delaware County bailiff, Kip Jerome Shotpouch, 33, of Jay charged with felony lewd or indecent proposal to a child under 16 in June 2017 is set to take a blind plea in the case at 11 a.m. on Friday, Mar. 2 before Judge Robert Reavis in Delaware County District Court.
A blind plea is a guilty plea without a set sentence and is accompanied by no sentencing agreement leaving the sentence up to the judge within his legal discretion.
The charge carries a minimum of three years to a maximum sentence 20 years, according to Delaware County Assistant District Attorney Nick Lelecaus
Shotpouch was charged in Delaware County District Court for allegedly sending sexually suggestive texts to a 15-year-old girl.
Shotpouch resigned from his position as bailiff serving in Delaware County Special Judge Alicia Littlefield's courtroom in May 2016.
The felony lewd or indecent proposal to a child under 16 case filed in Delaware County has been under legal process before Ottawa County District Court Judge Robert Reavis at the request of District Court Judge Robert Haney in prudence to judicial conduct and ethical rules.
Delaware and Ottawa County District Attorney Kenny Wright explained at that time, the case was to be heard in Ottawa County before Reavis by agreement of all parties to comply with the canons of judicial conduct and ethical rules.
The move was designed to avoid and prohibit any kind of sense of impropriety due to Shotpouch's service as a bailiff in Delaware County for years.
According to an arrest affidavit filed in connection to Shotpouch's case in April 2016, the alleged victim’s mother showed authorities screenshots of text messages where Shotpouch indicated he wanted to pick the victim up from behind the local health clinic and take her to his house for sexual activity.
Later that same month, Shotpouch began communicating with the victim through the Facebook Messenger app and asking her age, to which the victim replied that she was 15, investigators stated in the affidavit filed in Delaware County.
The alleged victim's mother worked at the Delaware County Courthouse and Shotpouch was described in the affidavit by the teen’s mother as a family friend they had known for several years.