A Mount Sterling man was sentenced Tuesday in Fayette County Common Pleas Court to five years in prison after pleading guilty to 12 counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.
Zackaria S. Winkler, 24, was also designated as a Tier 2 sex offender and is subject to five years of post-release control once he’s released from prison.
Ohio uses a “Three Tier” system for sex offender classification. When a person is convicted of a sex crime in Ohio and is required to register as a sex offender, they are placed into one of three tiers. Tier level is based on the crime the person was convicted of or pleaded guilty to, according to authorities. Once a sex offender is placed into a tier, he or she must then follow the registration requirements of that specific tier.
Tier 2 sex offenders must register every 180 days with law enforcement for a term of 25 years.
Winkler engaged in sexual conduct with a juvenile over a period of several months while living in the home with the juvenile and parent. The incident reported on Dec. 31 led to Fayette County Sheriff’s Office deputies being dispatched to the residence on Baldwin Road in northeast Fayette County after the parent became aware of the alleged inappropriate relationship, according to authorities.
Subsequent to the investigation, Winkler was arrested, charged, and transported to the Fayette County Jail. All 12 counts Winkler pleaded guilty to on Tuesday are felonies of the fourth degree.
Reach Record-Herald Editor Ryan Carter at 740-313-0352.