Former Springfield Highway Patrol trooper pleads in sexual battery cases

A former Springfield Post Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper has pleaded no contest “with a stipulation of guilt to sexual battery.”

John McLeod, 40, of Marysville, was arrested by the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office in September 2020 on two counts of rape, two counts of sexual battery and one count of aggravated trafficking in drugs, according to online court records.

On Thursday, according to a statement from the Champaign County Prosecutor’s Office, McLeod withdrew his former plea of not guilty and entered a plea of no contest “with a stipulation of guilt to sexual battery.”

“I believe this resolution will protect the public and hold the defendant accountable for his sexual assault. I also consulted with the victim and discussed the case with her prior to approving the plea agreement,” Champaign County Prosecutor Kevin Talebi said. “The victim was supportive of the plea resolution and I am hopeful that this will help her move forward in her life.”

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McLeod has previously pleaded not guilty to all of the charges. The remaining charges he was facing were also dismissed as part of the plea.

“As part of the plea agreement the defendant agreed to a joint recommendation of two years in prison,” the statement said. “Additionally, the defendant will be required to register as a Tier III sex offender for the rest of his life.”

McLeod will be officially sentenced on April 2.

He began working for the highway patrol in 2013, according to his personnel file, which was obtained by the Springfield News-Sun through a public records request.

Throughout his time with OSHP, Mcleod received “meets expectations,” on all of his yearly reviews, according to his personnel file. His only punishment came in late 2019 when Mcleod failed a random drug screening and tested positive for marijuana.

In late 2018, Mcleod was transferred to Columbus and served as a “plainclothes investigator,” for roughly a year before returning to the Springfield post in January of 2020.

He was let go from OSHP following an investigation into his recent charges, OSHP Lt. Robert Sellers said last year.

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