Neal Allen Burch likely faces 80 months in prison after pleading guilty to two Grant County felony sex crime charges, according to two Dec. 14 plea petitions.
Burch, 39, formerly of Grant County, entered an Alford plea for two charges of second-degree sexual abuse to different victims in a court-approved plea agreement after a settlement conference Dec. 11 before Deschutes County Circuit Court Judge Michael C. Sullivan. In an Alford plea, the defendant does not admit to the crime but admits the prosecution would likely prevail in court.
Sullivan will attend the final sentencing hearing by video at 1 p.m. Jan. 2 in Grant County Circuit Court.
Instead of a typically lower sentence, Burch stipulated to an upward departure to 40-month, consecutive sentences for each of the charges in the plea agreements. Other counts from each of those criminal cases would likely be dismissed.
A third criminal case with sex crime charges will be dismissed when the other two cases are sentenced, according to Sullivan’s Dec. 14 minute order from the settlement conference. In that case, a grand jury indicted Burch March 15 on charges of first-degree sexual abuse and second-degree sexual abuse to a single victim younger than 14 between December 2012 and December 2015.
Burch was first indicted Feb. 12, 2016, on charges of first-degree sexual penetration, first-degree sexual abuse, second-degree sexual abuse, coercion, third-degree sexual abuse, two counts of menacing and interfering with making a report for alleged incidents with a single victim on Jan. 17 and Jan. 21, 2016. He pleaded guilty to the second-degree sexual abuse charge in the plea agreement, a Class C Felony.
Burch was indicted March 8, 2016, on charges of first-degree rape, first-degree sodomy, first-degree sexual penetration, two counts of first-degree sexual abuse, three counts of second-degree sexual abuse and two counts of incest — all constituting domestic violence — with a single victim between October 2011 and December 2011. He pleaded guilty to one of the counts of second-degree sexual abuse in the plea agreement.
Each of the three cases involved separate alleged victims.