Accused sex offender agrees to plead guilty and go to prison

A 39-year-old Linton woman, accused of having an inappropriate sexual relationship with a 14-year-old, has agreed to plead guilty. If the terms of a negotiated plea agreement are accepted by the court, she’s expected to be sentenced to six years in prison with two suspended.

Jeri Henico

Jeri Henico

Jeri Sue Henico, 39, Linton, was arrested by Detective Paul Clark of the Linton Police Department on Thursday, August 23.

Early that day, police had gotten a report that Henico was having sexual encounters with a juvenile. The arrest came at the end of a fast-moving investigation over the course of the day that included various interviews and a search warrant. Officers from the Linton Police Department, the Jasonville Police Department and the Linton-Stockton School Resource Officer were all involved.

During her initial hearing, Henico was charged with five counts of sexual misconduct with a minor, all Level 4 felonies. (Editor’s Note: A previous story on GreeneStreets reported she was charged with Level 5 felonies. That was not correct. She was charged with Level 4 felonies, which is more serious.)

With Judge Erik Allen presiding, Henico was ordered to have no contact with the alleged victim in this case.

Greene County Prosecutor Jarrod Holtsclaw has represented the State, and Deputy Public Defender Ellen Martin was appointed by the court to represent Henico.

Last Friday, September 14, Henico, her defense attorney and the prosecutor signed a negotiated plea agreement which was filed in Greene Circuit Court later the same day.

Under the terms of the agreement, Henico intends to enter a plea of guilty to one count of sexual misconduct with a minor, a Level 4 felony, and the state agrees to dismiss the other four counts.

The agreement states Henico will be sentenced to six years in the Indiana Department of Corrections with two years suspended leaving four to serve. She will be given credit for days already served. Under Indiana law, if she is eligible for good time credit, she would still have to serve 75 percent of her time, or three years.

Following her release, she will serve the two suspended years on probation.

She will be fined court costs plus a sexual assault victim’s fee.

She will also be required to register as a sex offender.

Early today, Monday, September 17, the Court ordered the Greene County Department of Probation to prepare a pre-sentence investigation report and canceled an upcoming conference and jury trial.

Henico did not post bond and has remained in jail since the day of her arrest.

She is now scheduled to be in court for a change of plea and sentencing hearing on October 31.

To find previous stories with more details about this case, click the tag ‘Jeri Sue Henico’ at the bottom of this post.