BENNINGTON — A Bennington man pleaded guilty Tuesday to a charge of lewd and lascivious behavior with an 8-year- old girl in 2018. At the time of the crime, the defendant was 17.
Joshua Gundrum, now 21, was initially facing a maximum of life imprisonment if convicted of the original charge in the case — sexual assault of the child with no consent.
The sexual assault charge was amended as part of a plea deal. Gundrum also pleaded guilty to two counts of violating his conditions of release, stemming from 24/7 curfews ordered in 2019 and 2021. He will also be required to register as a sexual offender for 10 years.
Gundrum has been held at the Marble Valley Regional Correctional Facility in Rutland since his last violation of conditions in 2021.
According to the plea deal, Gundrum will receive a five- to 15-year split sentence, suspended, with credit for time already served, and a 10-year parole. He must attend a 12- to 15-month incarcerated treatment program while still in lockup before he is eligible for possible release.
During late summer 2018, police were alerted that a 10-year-old had reported to her grandmother that she had been sexually assaulted by Gundrum more than once in a closet two summers earlier. Gundrum, a neighbor of the victim, was arrested two weeks later.
Bennington Superior Judge Cortland Corsones on Tuesday ordered a pre-sentencing investigation and a psycho-sexual report before he will sentence Gundrum in six weeks. The victim and Gundrum will have the opportunity to speak in open court during the scheduled hearing.