An Elizabethtown man, in jail since his arrest last August for having sex with a boy younger than 12, has accepted a plea deal.

Ernest Wilson III, 25, was indicted last year on a first-degree sodomy charge, a Class A felony punishable by 20 to 50 years, or life, in prison, if convicted.

On Monday, he pleaded guilty to an amended charge of first-degree sexual abuse involving a child younger than 12 – a Class C felony punishable by five to 10 years in prison.

The plea agreement calls for Wilson to serve seven years in prison, register for 20 years as a sex offender, be on five-year post incarceration supervision and undergo sex offender treatment.

Wilson was arrested Aug. 3, 2018, after Kentucky State Police received a complaint he had fondled a then 8-year-old child, according to an arrest citation. According to an indictment, the alleged act took place between June 20 and 23 of last year.

After being informed of his rights, police said Wilson admitted he “accidentally” penetrated the child. Wilson said he still was asleep and had mistaken the child for his girlfriend, according to an arrest report.

He has been lodged in lieu of a $50,000 cash bond in the Hardin County Detention Center since his arrest.

Wilson, who was represented by public defender Erin Hartman, will be parole eligible after serving 20 percent of his sentence. Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Teresa Logsdon prosecuted the case.

Formal sentencing in the case is Oct. 15.

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