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Viney's sexual assault charges reduced after plea agreement
MONROE - A Monticello man pleaded guilty Thursday to a charge of contributing to a child's delinquency and no contest to charges of fourth-degree sexual assault after he had sex with an underage Belleville girl in 2014.

William Ross Viney, 25, had been charged with three counts of third-degree sexual assault and one count of child enticement. However, as part of a plea agreement, his charges were reduced to three misdemeanor counts of fourth-degree sexual assault and one Class H felony count of contributing to the delinquency of a child.

Viney's charges stem from an incident in November 2014 when he exchanged sexually explicit messages with the victim via Facebook before meeting her multiple times for sex. Viney's correspondence indicates he was aware of the victim's age.

Prosecuting attorney Shelly Rusch said leniency toward Viney was preferable, as he had no prior criminal record and had followed the conditions of his bond. Therefore, she recommended a sentence of no more than five months in jail and $1,400 in restitution.

In addition, Rusch had Viney's reduced misdemeanor charges severed into their own case so that his name would not be permanently associated with the abandoned felony sexual assault charges.

Rusch called for a pre-sentencing investigation to be carried out to determine Viney's sentence. The results of the investigation will be revealed Nov. 21.