WEST UNION, Ohio -- A former Adams County Sheriff’s chief deputy said he is guilty of drugging and performing a sexual act on a 15-year-old girl.
Jeff McCarty pleaded guilty Thursday to unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, a third degree felony.
McCarty, 46, also told a judge he gave the teen the sedative Ambien before performing the sexual act on her.
McCarty was charged in February with one count of rape. A grand jury indicted him two days later on another count of rape, two counts of sexual battery and two counts of sexual conduct with a minor.
He faces up to five years in prison when he’s sentenced Oct. 26.
“I’m expecting the judge to do what he thinks is appropriate,” McCarty’s attorney Scott Croswell said.
Special Prosecutor Seth Tieger said he will push for the maximum prison sentence against McCarty.
He said the teen victim wants him to go to prison, too.
“The victim is definitely seriously hurt,” Tieger said. “I don’t think it’s a surprise that we’re going to ask for a prison sentence.”
The teen’s grandfather called McCarty “a predator.” WCPO is not identifying the family member to protect the identity of the teen.
“He should be held to a higher accountability than anyone else. He’s sworn to serve and protect,” the teen's grandfather said. “My granddaughter is sentenced to life with this...I blame myself for letting (McCarty) breathe.”
The charges against McCarty stem from an incident on Dec. 29 at his home, police said.
McCarty was suspended from the Adams County Sheriffs Office on Jan. 6. He resigned after he was arrested.
"By far it's the toughest arrest I've been a part of," Adams County Sheriff Kimmy Rogers told WCPO in February. "I’ve known (McCarty) since he was a kid. I’ve known his parents. I know his family. I know the victim’s family.”
Rogers said he "immediately" asked the Adams County prosecutor to conduct an independent investigation into the matter and placed McCarty on administrative leave after learning of the allegations.
"The minute I heard (the accusations) I passed it on to the prosecutor," Rogers said. "I wanted everybody on both sides to believe it was a fair investigation and that the result was fair. I think if we would have done it in house, everyone would not have been satisfied.”
McCarty was with the county sheriff's office for about 26 years. He has held the ranks of deputy, detective and sergeant before receiving a promotion to chief deputy in March 2009.