A former youth pastor at a Troy church pleaded guilty Tuesday to felony aggravated assault involving a 15-year-old girl.
Michael D. Mohler, 26, formerly of Tipp City and now of Athens, Ohio, was charged earlier this year in Miami County Municipal Court with felony sexual battery. The charge was dismissed later by prosecutors.
In county Common Pleas Court Tuesday, Mohler waived a grand jury consideration of allegations against him and pleaded to aggravated assault.
The plea was part of a deal in which he agreed to give up any ministerial licenses. That step already has been taken, defense lawyer Jose Lopez said.
County Prosecutor Tony Kendell declined comment on the plea and the difference in the charges against Mohler. The initial charge would have involved sex offender registration. Kendell said he would comment at sentencing, which is scheduled for Aug. 26.
Mohler could receive up to 18 months in prison.
The charges stemmed from a relationship between Mohler and the girl at the First United Methodist Church of Troy, where he had served as a youth pastor for about two years. Mohler was relieved of his duties at the church when original allegations surfaced in February, the church’s pastor said at the time.
Mohler is free on a recognizance bond with the condition he has no contact with the victim.