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Deputy pleads guilty to 'sexting' women gets probation and community service

He must take a UC class as condition of probation
Posted at 12:05 PM, Sep 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-13 15:02:19-04

CINCINNATI -- The Hamilton County deputy who pleaded guilty to sending explicit, sexual images to women will avoid jail time.

Josh Noel, 25, was sentenced to community service and probation Wednesday. Noel must complete a critical thinking class at the University of Cincinnati as a condition of his probation.

Noel pleaded guilty to one charges of telecommunications harassment; he agreed to a plea deal that would drop a second charge.

Of the women who accused Noel of harassment and brought evidence to police, at least one of which he met when he pulled her over for a traffic stop.

According to Chief of Staff Jim Knapp, Noel pulled an 18-year-old woman over for a traffic stop on about Aug. 5, then contacted her via Facebook two days later with information he gathered on her driver's license.

A second and third accuser also contacted police, but Noel didn't meet them through a traffic stop, Knapp said.

"We don't know how many victims are out there...but this type of behavior will not be tolerated by the sheriff's office," Sheriff Jim Neil said when Noel was initially charged.

RELATED: Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Neil insists deputies are held accountable

Municipal Judge Brad Greenberg sentenced Noel to one year of probation and 40 hours community service. Noel faced up to 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Noel was hired as a corrections officer in 2013 and has worked in law enforcement for four years. His most recent annual review said he is "very proactive in his self-initiated activity...is progressing as expected at this time."

In court, Noel's attorney said he was "very aggressive, made great arrests," and "a poor decision cost him his career with the sheriff's department." He argued that Noel should only serve probation -- not jail time -- because he "served the community...until this point."

Noel said he apologized "to anyone he may have offended" and that being fired from the Sheriff's Office "weighs heavy on (his) heart." He said his actions were due to a lack or lapse of judgment.

Greenberg said Noel has no criminal history, took responsibility and "already paid somewhat of a significant price" for his actions.