South Jax man accused of sexual abuse, child solicitation has case continued until early March

By Gary Scott on February 9, 2018 at 8:26am

A local man arrested on charges of alleged sexual abuse and child solicitation last March appeared in Morgan County court for a pre-trial hearing earlier this week.

Forty-one year old Joshua Bruns, of South Jacksonville, was booked nearly 11 months ago for allegations of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and the indecent solicitation of a child. While the case has already seen about a dozen hearings, the latest coming this past December, Bruns appeared in court for another pre-trial hearing Wednesday along with Defense Attorney Jonathan Hurst.

Representing the Prosecution in this case is Morgan County State’s Attorney Gray Noll, who explains what occurred at this week’s hearing, and says he believes the case will likely see a trial next month.

“Mr. Bruns’ case was up for a trial call as well. He appeared with his attorney, they asked for a continuance, and it was continued to March 7th at 1:30. I believe that is likely going to be a trial in March,” says Noll.

In this particular case, the state is alleging that Bruns knowingly fondled the breasts of the victim, who at the time was under the age of 18 and believed to be a family member of Bruns. The state is also alleging that Bruns solicited the victim to touch him in an inappropriate sexual manner.

State’s Attorney Noll goes over the charges alleged against Bruns, as well as the possible sentencing range that each respective charge carries if Bruns were to be found guilty.

“(Bruns) is charged with two different counts in one case, an aggravated criminal sexual abuse and an indecent solicitation of a child. Count one is a Class 2 felony, where he is (possibly) facing three to seven years in the department of correction. Count two is a Class 3 felony, where he is (possibly) facing two to five years in the department of corrections,” says Noll.

Back on December 19th of last year, Bruns, along with Defense Attorney Hurst made a motion to reduce Bruns’ bond from $20,000 with 10 percent to apply down to $2,000. That motion was denied by Judge Chris Reif. Bruns’ will next court date has been set for March 7th at 1:30.