LOGAN — An 18-year-old Millville man has pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting a 7-year-old girl while at a friend’s house, watching a movie. Joshua A. Powell entered his plea while also waiving his right to a preliminary hearing, where a judge would have determined whether prosecutors have sufficient evidence to bind him over for trial.
Powell was in 1st District Court Tuesday afternoon, appearing by video from jail. He has been charged with three counts of sex abuse of a child, a second-degree felony.
Defense attorney Wayne Caldwell told the court they wished to waive their hearing and enter their plea to the charges. He explained that prosecutors had given them a plea offer. They needed a couple weeks to discuss it and work out the details.
Judge Thomas Willmore said he would grant Powell time to work out a plea deal. He ordered him to appear again in court April 7 for a change of plea hearing.
Prosecutors claim the alleged victim told investigators that Powell was at her home during a party on the night of February 15. He walked into her bedroom while she was in bed, and asked to give her a hug. He then began inappropriately touching her, while kissing and licking her face.
Detectives later interviewed Powell. He admitted that it was “very possible” that he touched the child inappropriately. He also confessed to being aroused while it was taking place.
Powell is being held on $15,000 bail. He could face up to 15 years in prison if convicted.