A Toledo man convicted Thursday in Wood County on charges of fondling a woman’s feet without her consent is accused of doing the same to a jogger this week in Ottawa Park.
Joseph Jones, 31, of the 2500 block of Charlestown Avenue, was found guilty following a two-day jury trial in Wood County Court of Common Pleas of unlawful restraint, a third-degree misdemeanor. The jury found him not guilty of third-degree felony abduction and sexual imposition, a third-degree misdemeanor.
Those charges stemmed from an April, 2017, incident at the Meijer store on East Wooster Street in Bowling Green. According to court records and testimony, a woman said Mr. Jones approached her at the store, engaged her in conversation, and then started touching her shoes and feet.
He asked to see her hands, felt her pulse, and said he was reading her palm. She said she felt she had to pull her hand away from him to get away.
Judge Matthew Reger sentenced Mr. Jones to 60 days in jail with 30 days suspended, and sentenced him to three years of probation.
In a separate case, Mr. Jones is charged with sexual imposition and aggravated menacing, both first-degree misdemeanors, according to Toledo Municipal Court records.
Police say Mr. Jones approached a woman Monday while on the jogging trail in Ottawa Park and made several comments that led her to believe he’d been watching her for weeks, court records show. She told police she was alone on the secluded trail with Mr. Jones and she froze in fear.
She said Mr. Jones took off her shoe and massaged her foot. He became distracted by approaching bicyclists, and the victim was able to get away, court records show.
Mr. Jones also faces a sexual imposition charge from an incident in June, according to court records. While at a grocery store on Jackman Road in Toledo, Mr. Jones allegedly approached a woman and began a conversation. Eventually he began talking about the woman’s feet.
He is accused of grabbing the victim’s foot, taking her flip-flop off, and “asking her to point her toes while stating that he wished the victim was single because he would rub her feet every day,” records show.
The victim was able to get away from him and hide in the back of the store until her husband picked her up, according to records.
Mr. Jones was convicted in 2017 on four charges of sexual imposition/offensive or reckless sexual contact after he approached women in stores, complimented them on their shoes, and, in two cases, placed his hand in their shoes and rubbed their feet. In two other cases, he persuaded women to remove their shoes and then sucked their toes.
At his sentencing Thursday in Wood County court, Mr. Jones asserted his innocence, and said the new Toledo charges were news to him.
“What if I was actually innocent of everything I was charged with,” he asked Judge Reger.
He said he does not touch women without their consent, and said only a “complete idiot” would continue such conduct while he faced legal and media scrutiny. He didn’t offer an alternative explanation for why different women continuously have reported his behavior to police, only suggesting “there’s something else going on.”
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