Bellefontaine dad pleads guilty in sex case

The father of three Bellefontaine boys who prosecutors say were killed by their mother has pleaded guilty to a reduced misdemeanor sex charge.

Joseph Pilkington is the husband of Brittany Cummins Pilkington, the Bellefontaine mom accused of smothering her three young sons to death.

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Brittany Pilkington allegedly confessed to killing 3-month-old Niall Pilkington in July 2014, 4-year-old Gavin Pilkington in April of last year and 3-month-old Noah in August, authorities said. She faces the death penalty if convicted of capital murder charges.

Joseph Pilkington was charged with felony sexual battery and arrested in September for allegedly starting a sexual relationship with Brittany Cummins while she was a minor and he was a step-father figure living in her home. He was involved in a relationship with her mother from the time she was a child and purported himself to be her parent at school and at doctors’ appointments, prosecutors have said.

On Monday he pleaded guilty to a reduced misdemeanor charge of sexual imposition, according to the Logan County Prosecutor’s Office.

“We would ask the court, your honor, to take recognition of the price that has been paid, which again is almost inhuman,” Joseph Pilkington’s attorney Steve Fansler said in court of the death of his sons.

“We believe that there would not be a benefit served by jail time nor by fine nor by community control sanctions,” he said.

Joseph Pilkington was ordered to pay a $250 fine and register as a tier-one sex offender for 15 years. A 60-day jail sentence was suspended and credit given for the 21 days he’s already served.

Four days of hearings have been scheduled beginning July 19 to review several motions filed by lawyers in Brittany Pilkington’s case, according to Logan County court records. Her jury trial is scheduled to begin Oct. 18. But her lawyers have requested to push that trial date back, according to court records.

Brittany Pilkington’s attorneys filed a set of motions in April asking for the death penalty specifications to be removed and to have her alleged confession thrown out. The defense says all statements to law enforcement were made involuntarily.

Police say they obtained a confession from Brittany Pilkington, including an admission by her that she killed her sons because their father paid them more attention than the couple’s daughter.

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