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Resident of The Plains pleaded not guilty to sex charge

A 39-year-old man pleaded not guilty to having sexual contact with a child in June.

James Dawson of The Plains pleaded not guilty to one count of gross sexual imposition at his arraignment hearing in Athens County Court of Common Pleas Thursday.

Dawson allegedly had sexual contact with a 9-year-old on June 11, according to a news release from Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn.

Dawson is being held on $100,000 bond at the Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail.

Gross sexual imposition is a third-degree felony. He could be sentenced to a maximum of five years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000 if convicted of the charge at a trial, according to the Ohio Revised Code.

Dawson’s jury trial is slated to begin Jan. 10, 2013.

-Marika Lee

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