Jay Man Pleads Guilty to Sex Charges
A Jay man has pleaded guilty to 10 sex charges against two Franklin County girls who were under the age of 16 at the time of the offenses. Joshua Welch’s trial was scheduled to start Monday, but instead he pleaded guilty to 10 counts of unlawful sexual contact. The state dismissed a charge of gross sexual assault in the plea agreement. Police arrested the 31-year-old Welch in August 2011. He was indicted on one charge of gross sexual assault and 10 counts of unlawful sexual contact in January. The incidents occurred between Jan. 1, 2007, and Aug. 15, 2011. Welch’s sentencing has not been scheduled. The Sun Journal, reports he faces a sentence of up to 10 years on each charge. He is being held without bail pending sentencing.