A Bethel Township, Miami County, man pleaded guilty Feb. 2 to three felony counts of gross sexual imposition involving a child under age 13 as part of a plea deal in which prosecutors dismissed a rape charge.

Gary Grubb, 52, made the plea in county Common Pleas Court before Judge Jeannine Pratt. The plea came during a hearing scheduled on a motion by the defense lawyer to withdraw from the case.

Grubb was accused of sexual contact with a person under age 13 between September and December 2011. He was found competent to stand trial in January and a trial was scheduled for March.

Grubb has been on medical furlough from the county jail since fall due to surgery and the jail’s inability to accommodate his needs for a special bed and other care.

Defense lawyer Michael Brush asked Pratt to continue the bond Feb. 2, saying Grubb had just been released from the hospital following additional surgery and was in “severe pain.” Grubb appeared in court seated in a wheelchair. Paul Watkins, assistant county prosecutor, did not challenge the request.

As part of the release on a recognizance bond, Grubb was ordered to live with his mother in Xenia and to have no contact with any minors including the victim.  Pratt continued the bond and reminded Grubb of the conditions of release following the plea.

As part of the plea deal, prosecutors will recommend an eight-year prison term. Grubb could receive up to five years on each of the three gross sexual imposition charges.

He will be sentenced March 23. He will be classified as a Tier II sex offender.

The designation will require him to register his address in person at the sheriff’s office in the county where he lives and works every 180 days for 25 years following prison release.

With Grubb’s plea, defense lawyer Brush said he would drop the motion to withdraw from the case.