Former Ball State professor accused of sexual assault pleads guilty to battery
A former Ball State professor accused of sexually assaulting a young boy entered a guilty plea to a separate charge.
Melvin Sharpe, a former journalism professor who was 78 at the time of the arrest, now 81, was arrested in March 2015 on charges of child molestation and child solicitation. He was given a second charge of battery resulting in bodily injury Friday.
According to court documents, the defendant entered a guilty plea to the battery charge Monday.
An affidavit for his arrest said the boy, who was 15 at the time, reported the abuse to the Delaware County Child Advocacy Center.
Sharpe retired from Ball State in 2007. He was awarded several times for his work and returned to campus in 2011 to give the Vernon C. Schranz Distinguished Lecture. Sharpe’s name and picture remains in Ball State's Journalism Hall of Fame.
A lawsuit was filed in 2016 by the accuser of the original sexual assault case and by a co-plaintiff.
An acceptance hearing has been scheduled April 5.