Worthington man enters Alford Plea agreement amid sexual misconduct allegations
WORTHINGTON -- A Worthington man accused of sexual misconduct for alleged contact with his granddaughter entered an Alford plea agreement in court Wednesday morning.
WORTHINGTON - A Worthington man accused of sexual misconduct for alleged contact with his granddaughter entered an Alford plea agreement in court Wednesday morning.
Kenneth Meyerdirk, 71, was originally charged with one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct and two counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct. The charges were made in connection with incidents said to have occurred between May 2000 and September 2004.
Meyerdirk is accused of inappropriately touching a granddaughter, with whom he had a significant relationship, while she was at his farm.
The series of alleged incidents started when she was in second grade and continued until she was 11 years old, when she realized it was inappropriate, according to the criminal complaint.
Charges were first filed against Meyerdirk in December 2013.
An Alford plea has the legal effect of a guilty plea while the defendant asserts innocence. Meyerdirk did not admit guilt and testified that prosecutors had enough evidence to convict him.
The second- and third-degree charges were dropped as part of the plea agreement. Meyerdirk would face eight years of probation, pay a fine of $6,000 and complete a sexual assault assessment. About 70 percent of the fine will be forwarded by the court to a local victim assistance program.
The acceptance of the plea is contingent upon Meyerdirk’s successful completion of the sexual assault assessment before his sentencing hearing in approximately eight weeks. He faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison, a $40,000 fine or both.
Meyerdirk was scheduled for a three-day jury trial this week before the Alford plea agreement was made.