Retired Ball State professor reaches plea in molestation case

(WISH Photo, file)

MUNCIE, Ind. (AP) — A retired Ball State University professor accused of molesting a boy has agreed to plead guilty to a lesser charge in the case.

81-year-old Melvin Lee Sharpe agreed last week to plead guilty to a felony count of battery resulting in bodily injury.

A Delaware County judge set an April 5 hearing to decide whether she’ll accept the plea. If she does, Sharpe will be sentenced at that time.

Sharpe was accused of sexually assaulting a boy over a five-year period starting when the child was seven.

The Star Press reports that Sharpe was a journalism professor who retired from Ball State in 2007 and specialized in public relations.

His attorney, Kelly Bryan, declined to comment Tuesday on the pending case.