Man pleads to lesser charge in underage sex case

NORWICH – A man accused of statutory rape appeared in court Tuesday to plead guilty to a lesser offense.

Zachary Tenant, 27, Johnson Road, Willet, pleaded guilty to sexual misconduct, a misdemeanor.

Tenant was accused of having sexual relations with a consenting teen-aged girl. District Attorney Joseph McBride said he accepted the plea because the victim had a long-standing relationship with the defendant, who was also a family friend. McBride said he consulted with the family and that the victim was “adamant” that Tenant not go to prison. At the time of the incident, the girl was 16.

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