Plea change hearing set for Charles City man accused of sexual abuse

CHARLES CITY — A plea change hearing has been scheduled for a Charles City man charged with sexual abuse.

59-year-old Ronald Stewart was charged with four counts of third-degree sexual abuse, with a criminal complaint accusing Stewart of inappropriately touching a victim under the age of 16 numerous times over a 20-month period between January 2020 and August of last year.

Stewart was scheduled to stand trial on the charges on February 15th, but online court records show that Stewart has entered into a plea agreement with prosecutors, agreeing to enter into an Alford plea on one count of third-degree sexual abuse with the other three counts being dismissed.

With an Alford plea, a person does not admit guilt but acknowledges there is enough evidence for a likely conviction.

Prosecutors in turn are recommending a fully suspended 10-year prison sentence with up to five years probation.

A formal plea change hearing is scheduled for Stewart on February 28th in Floyd County District Court.