The Rocky Fork Lake area man facing felony sex charges was among those who waived their right to a preliminary hearing in Hillsboro Municipal Court on Thursday.
James L. Murdock, 46, of Hillsboro, faces two counts of gross sexual imposition, a third-degree felony, and one count of child enticement, a first-degree misdemeanor. His case will go before a grand jury.
The Times-Gazette previously reported that Murdock was arrested on Aug. 5 on charges related to sexual contact with a young girl. He was arraigned on both Aug. 6, and then again on Aug. 7, as investigations continued.
Last Thursday, Det. Tom Putnam of the sheriff’s office told the court that there is a “likelihood that there may be additional victims.”
Sheriff Richard Warner requests that anyone with information regarding any other potential victims contact the sheriff’s office at 937-393-1421.
Hillsboro Municipal Court Judge David H. McKenna ruled that Murdock’s bond would remain the same at $75,000.
Also on Thursday, John Barger, 26, of Hillsboro, was arraigned on fifth-degree felony possession of methamphetamine.
The judge said, prior to this new charge, a warrant had been issued for Barger’s arrest. This warrant concerned a probation violation of a prior theft conviction.
Barger’s case was scheduled for preliminary and probation violation hearings on Aug. 28.
He is currently being held on a $50,000 bond.
Finally, Scott R. Joachimi Jr., 29, of New Vienna, entered into a plea agreement concerning two fifth-degree felony theft charges.
According to affidavits filed with the court, Joachimi and his wife were involved in incidents in which checks had been paid to them for a deer hunt that never occurred.
The affidavits state that the victims, from New Jersey and Michigan respectively, found out about the deer hunt online. When they contacted Joachimi, he requested that they make checks payable to his wife, Lara Hunt, who, court records show, is facing similar charges to Joachimi’s.
When the dates for the hunts came closer, both victims attempted to contact Joachmi and were unsuccessful. The hunts never occurred, but the checks had been cashed.
The total amount that had been sent to Joachimi and his wife was $2,050.
On Thursday, Joachimi told the court that he had not hired an attorney and that he had also not applied for a court-appointed one.
He said family members had told him he could ask for a continuance on the case.
“Which one of them is a lawyer?” the judge asked.
“None of them,” Joachimi said.
Joachimi then waived his right to counsel and spoke with the prosecutor concerning his case, at which time a plea agreement was reached.
As per the agreement, the thefts would be treated as first-degree misdemeanors, rather than felonies, on the condition that Joachimi repay the victims by Aug. 14, 2015.
Additionally, McKenna said Joachimi has not yet completed his community service or paid the restitution in a different theft conviction from earlier this year. At that time, he had also been found guilty of hunting without a license, a third-degree misdemeanor.
The judge said he was “curious” how Joachimi would be able to pay additional restitution when he had, so far, only paid 20 percent of the restitution in the previous case.
Joachimi said his dad was going to lend him half of the money.
“You haven’t come close to half yet,” McKenna said.
A $1,000 fine was suspended, as was a 180-day jail sentence. He will have to pay restitution to both victims.
Joachimi will be on a 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. curfew until all costs and restitution are paid.
He is currently on reporting probation from his previous theft charge, as well as for hunting without a license.
On these newest charges, he was placed on non-reporting probation for five years.
McKenna said that, unless Joachimi does not “get his act together,” he could be facing possible jail time.
“I’m not going to be interested in your excuses,” the judge said.
Sarah Allen may be reached at 937-402-2571 or on Twitter @SarahAllenHTG.