Ex-Muncie animal shelter chief pleads guilty to sex act with girl

The former director of a central Indiana animal shelter has pleaded guilty to having sexual contact with an underage girl.

Philip H. Peckinpaugh, 36, of Muncie, pleaded guilty Monday to a felony charge of sexual misconduct with a minor. Under the terms of his plea agreement, four other charges, including child solicitation and possession of child pornography, will be dismissed.

A Delaware County judge scheduled Peckinpaugh’s sentencing for Jan. 12.

He had served as the director of the Muncie Animal Shelter from 2012 until his resignation from that post in December 2018.

Peckinpaugh was arrested in June 2020 after another adult found him in bed with a girl who was then 16, The Star Press reported, citing court records.

Although the age of consent for sexual activity under most circumstances is 16 in Indiana, the girl told police about earlier sexual episodes with Peckinpaugh that took place when she was 15.

Peckinpaugh was also accused of exchanging nude photos with the juvenile online.

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