WEST UNION, Ohio | A former Xenia, Ohio, church leader has entered a guilty plea to a charge dating back more than 20 years.
Charles W. Savage, II, a former minister was in Adams County Court of Common Pleas Monday, entering a guilty plea to sexual conduct with a minor.
His case goes back more than 20 years and has spanned almost five years since accusations surfaced in 2009, with indictment in September 2010 by an Adams County grand jury for alleged sexual conduct with a 14-year-old member of his congregation between October 1990 and October 1996.
Savage faced charges of sexual battery and unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, which occurred in Adams County.
The incidents did not occur during church functions, but during hunting and fishing trips to property Savage's family owned in Adams County, court officials said.
Savage left as a pastor of Freedom Baptist Temple in Xenia in 2009.
That first case was dismissed in February 2011, for a court action declining to prosecute. In June 2011, Savage was charged in Adams County Court with attempted gross sexual imposition of the victim during the time period of July 10, 1991 to Feb. 12, 1992.
In a plea agreement in October 2011, Savage entered an Alford Plea of guilty, maintaining his innocence, but entering a guilty plea as he believed it would be in his best interest, which was dismissed without prejudice on Dec. 16, 2011.
In July of 2012, Savage was indicted on seven counts of sexual battery and four counts of corruption of a minor with the same victim as the 2011 case.
Savages' attorney tried to get the cases dismissed due to claims the charges violated the statute of limitations and constituted "double jeopardy."
Judge Brett Spencer permitted the case to continue and it was set for a jury trial to begin when the plea agreement was met.
Savage entered a guilty plea to an amended Count I of sexual imposition, a third-degree misdemeanor. All other counts were dismissed; Savage waived claim to violations of statute of limitations as part of the agreement.
As a result of his plea, Savage was scheduled for sentencing and sexual offender classification Thursday afternoon. A decision was not available at press time.