Kosciusko sheriff pleads guilty to intimidation charge

Plea deal calls for sentence of 6 months to 2 1/2 years

WARSAW, Ind. (WANE) Kosciusko County Sheriff Aaron Rovenstine has admitted to intimidating a Warsaw Police officer.

Kosciusko County Sheriff Aaron Rovenstine

Rovenstine accepted a plea deal with Kosciusko County prosecutors that effectively suspends his criminal trial for bribery and other charges. 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.

The plea agreement calls for a sentence of 6 months to 2 ½ years, though the court can choose to lessen the charge to a Class A misdemeanor at Rovenstine’s May 23 sentencing.

Rovenstine was indicted on the 10 felony charges in February 2016. According to court records, Rovenstine allegedly 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.

Rovenstine is still sheriff of Kosciusko County. The plea deal is under a judge’s advisement.

It’s unknown why and how a deal was struck so late in the game. A jury was selected for this trial on Monday. On Wednesday prosecutors said they were ready to go to trial, but are happy with the outcome.

The intimidation charge comes after an accusation that Rovenstine threatened a Warsaw Police Detective after he became suspicious of Rovenstine and his relationship with the inmate. By entering the plea deal Rovenstine admits he did threaten the officer in this case.

Prosecutors said the officer was advised of this deal and agreed with it.