Kosciusko sheriff hands over control after admitting to felony

Crime

WARSAW, Ind. (WANE) Kosciusko County Sheriff Aaron Rovenstine will relinquish his day-to-day duties after he pleaded guilty to a felony intimidation charge earlier this week.

The sheriff’s department said in a news release Friday that Chief Deputy William “Rocky” Goshert will assume all daily operational decisions for the department. Goshert previously served as sheriff from 2006 to 2014, between Rovenstine’s two tenures.

Rovenstine accepted a plea deal with Kosciusko County prosecutors on Tuesday that suspended his criminal trial for bribery and other charges. The sheriff was indicted on the 10 felony charges in February 2016. According to court records, Rovenstine accepted $40,000 in bribes so favors could be granted to a jail inmate. Rovenstine also is accused of intimidating a Warsaw Police Department detective who had suspicions of Rovenstine’s activities.

The sheriff pleaded guilty to a single charge of Level 6 felony Intimidation. As part of the deal with prosecutors, all nine other charges against Rovenstine will be dropped.

Rovenstine faces up to 2 1/2 years in prison at a May 23 sentencing hearing.

The sheriff’s department said in Friday’s release that Rovenstine will continue to fulfill his statutory requirements of the office of Sheriff until he is sentenced. Those responsibilities include signing and authorizing legal documents, Hill said.

After Rovenstine is sentenced, Hill said Kosciusko County’s Republican Party will hold a caucus within 30 days to select a new sheriff. Goshert would serve as acting sheriff in the interim.

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