A 20-year-old Washington Court House man plead guilty Monday in the Fayette County Court of Common Pleas to unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, a fourth-degree felony.
Dalton J. Leyes was indicted in May by a Fayette County grand jury on charges of compelling prostitution and unlawful sexual conduct with a minor. As part of the plea deal Monday, count one, compelling prostitution, a third-degree felony, was dismissed.
Leyes attempted to fire his attorney during a pretrial hearing in September. His attorney is Kathryn Hapner, but Leyes asked to postpone his trial date for 90 days while he worked to come up with money for the retainer fee for a different attorney. Leyes said he was trying to fire Hapner because he called her office several times and she had never answered.
“I understand she is a very busy woman,” said Leyes during the September hearing, who then requested that Hapner be dismissed from his case.
Steven Beathard, Fayette County Court of Common Pleas Judge, told Leyes he would have to cooperate with the judicial system because he was not willing to postpone Leyes’s trial date.
“Ms. Hapner is your attorney. I suggest you set up an appointment to discuss your case. You have to cooperate with your attorney,” said Beathard.
Jess Weade, Fayette County Prosecutor, said the state was opposed to delaying Leyes’s trial date another 90 days to allow him to hire a different attorney.
According to the indictment, Leyes allegedly knowingly induced, procured, encouraged, solicited, requested, or otherwise facilitated a minor to engage in sexual activity for hire and engaged in sexual conduct with the minor at some point between the dates of Sept. 1, 2015 and April 17, 2016.
During Monday’s plea, the facts set forth on the record by the state said Leyes had sexual intercourse with a 15-year-old minor.
Leyes’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for Feb. 6 at 8:30 a.m. in the Fayette County Court of Common Pleas.
Reach Ashley at the Record-Herald (740) 313-0355 or on Twitter @ashbunton
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