The case involving a former Bethany College professor accused of sex crimes against children is moving forward.

Monday in Belmont County Richard Rushton, 63, entered an Alford plea, sometimes called pleading no-contest, for two counts of sexual battery charges.

The Alford plea means Rushton does not admit guilt but understands that there is enough evidence to prove his guilt.

He was originally facing five counts of sex crimes, but due to the fact the investigation began in another country, some problems arose with the evidence.

After being initially charged back in 2010, Rushton fled to Italy for a year until he was found and brought back to Belmont County, thanks to efforts by the FBI and the Department of Justice.

Rushton was arraigned in November 2011 shortly after being brought back to the United States.

Both counts against Rushton are second degree felonies and carry with them a maximum of eight years behind bars for each count. He would also be labeled as a tier-three sex offender and have to register every 90 days for the rest of his life.

Rushton is currently sitting in the Belmont County Jail. He is scheduled to be sentenced November 19.

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