Landlord pleads guilty after groping tenants

Posted at 7:59 PM, Oct 19, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-19 19:59:08-04

RISING SUN, Ind. — An Indiana property-owner pleaded guilty to battery charges after two female tenants said he grabbed their breasts.

Fred Taylor, 76, appeared in Ohio County court Monday morning, facing two counts of felony sexual battery. Taylor pleaded guilty to two lesser, misdemeanor battery charges in order to avoid spending time behind bars, according to Ohio/Dearborn County Prosecutor Aaron Negangard. 

He also avoided having to register as a sex offender, Negangard said.

Instead, Taylor will serve probation for up to a year, the terms of which include no drugs or alcohol, having no contact with the victims and only moving away from the county with written permission from the court.

The charges arose after two separate female tenants told police that Taylor touched them on their breasts on two separate occasions in May 2013, Negangard said, adding that Monday's court appearance was the first time Taylor admitted to touching the women in the two years since the incidents.

"This isn't the ideal situation in cases like these," Negangard said. "But keeping [the victims] off the stand and keeping them from having to go through a jury took considerable weight in this case, so we wanted to avoid that process for them."

Negangard said Taylor will receive his sentence on November 5, in order to give the victim's a chance to address the court if they chose.