Scales of justice

A semi-truck driver will admit to sexually assaulting a 9-year-old while she rode with him on a trip through several states.

John Jaycob Fishbaugh, who was 56 when charges were filed in 2016, will plead guilty to sexual assault and indecent exposure, both felonies, under a plea agreement filed in mid-October. Original charges against Fishbaugh were sexual intercourse without consent, sexual abuse of children and sexual assault.

Under a joint recommendation, defense and prosecuting attorneys plan to ask for a sentence of 25 years to the Montana State Prison with 10 suspended. The joint recommendation will call for restitution.

According to charging documents, Fishbaugh took the 9-year-old girl on a cross-country trip in August 2015 and forced her into sexual contact.

Fishbaugh and the girl made stops in Washington, Missoula County, Oregon and Yellowstone County.

Fishbaugh originally denied the allegations to law enforcement.

Sentencing has been set for Jan. 31, 2018.

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Justice Reporter

Justice reporter for the Billings Gazette.