Sentencing date set for Charles City man accused of sexual abuse

CHARLES CITY — A sentencing hearing has been set for a Charles City man who has entered an Alford plea on a sexual abuse charge.

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 Stewart as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors has entered an Alford plea to one count of third-degree sexual abuse, a Class C felony, 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.

District Judge Colleen Weiland on Monday scheduled Stewart’s sentencing for April 25th in Floyd County District Court.