4:46 PM EDT, August 29, 2011
SOUTH BEND — A 26-year-old man accused of sexual misconduct with two 15-year-old girls pleaded guilty on Monday morning.
Andrew West was charged in June with five felonies related to allegations that he engaged in sexual acts with the girls while he was working with the Mishawaka Department of Community Development. One of the victims alleged that some of the activity occurred in meeting rooms at Mishawaka City Hall.
West had been scheduled to go on trial Sept. 17, but entered into a plea agreement with the state on Monday morning.
West pleaded guilty to class B felony sexual misconduct with a minor and class C felony sexual misconduct with a minor. The state agreed to dismiss the remaining three counts as part of the plea agreement.
St. Joseph Superior Court Judge John Marnocha took the agreement under advisement and set sentencing for 9 a.m. Oct. 25.
The state will be free to argue for whatever sentence it thinks West deserves at that hearing, within the statutory range.
A B felony conviction carries a sentence of between six and 20 years; a C felony conviction, two to eight years.
West, who bonded out of the St. Joseph County Jail on June 10, appeared for his hearing this morning in gray dress slacks, a white dress shirt and tie.
West was fired from his position with the city of Mishawaka eight days after he was charged by prosecutors on June 9.
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