POMEROY — The second person charged in connection with the rape of a juvenile and a methamphetamine lab in Middleport last August has pleaded guilty to lesser charges.
Brenda A. Stewart, 43, of Middleport, entered a guilty plea to one count of illegal possession of chemicals for the manufacture of methamphetamine and one count of child endangerment. Both charges are felonies of the third degree.
Stewart was scheduled for a jury trial next week.
Per the plea agreement, the remaining charges of rape and illegal manufacture of methamphetamine, both first-degree felonies, will be dismissed. Case 13CR164 will also be dismissed. Stewart was originally indicted under that case, but was re-indicted to clarify the charges against her.
Victim’s Assistance Director Theda Petrasko addressed the court, stating that the victim was in agreement with the plea and did not believe her mother had knowledge of the rape taking place.
Stewart did not address the court other than answering direct questions from the judge.
Judge I. Carson Crow sentenced Stewart to the maximum of 36 months on each of the two counts, to be served consecutively for six years total.
Joseph Stewart, 39, entered a guilty plea to three of the eight counts he was facing in connection with the case during a hearing Feb. 6.
He pleaded guilty to illegal assembly or possession of chemicals for the manufacture of methamphetamine, a felony of the third degree; rape, a felony of the first degree; and sexual battery, a felony of the third degree.
Stewart was indicted last year on five counts of rape, each one a felony of the first degree; one count of illegal manufacture of methamphetamine, a felony of the first degree; illegal assembly or possession of chemicals for the manufacture of methamphetamine, a felony of the second degree; and sexual battery, a felony of the third degree.
In accordance with the plea agreement, five counts of the indictment were dismissed, along with case 13CR163. Stewart was originally indicted under case 13CR163, but was re-indicted to add additional charges and clarify the charges.
Joseph Stewart was sentenced to 17 years in prison and must register as a tier III sex offender for life.
The Stewarts were arrested Aug. 21 following the discovery of a methamphetamine lab at 60 1/2 Cole St. in Middleport.
At that time, deputies, along with Department of Jobs and Family Services-Children Services workers interviewed a minor female who alleged forced sexual abuse by her stepfather, Joseph G. Stewart. After interviewing the minor child’s mother, Brenda A. Stewart, along with the stepfather, it was determined sexual abuse had occurred, according to law enforcement.
Middleport Police Chief Bruce Swift and Meigs County Sheriff Keith Wood have said officers with both departments responded to the residence, following up on a tip received through Meigs County Children Services regarding a methamphetamine lab and possible sexual abuse of a minor at the residence.
The Stewarts live in an apartment at that address, according to Swift.
While searching the residence, deputies allegedly located a one-pot reactionary vessel and white powder that tested positive for methamphetamine, along with chemicals used in the production of methamphetamine.