WALLA WALLA — A 22-year-old area man pleaded innocent Monday afternoon in Walla Walla County Superior Court to forcing a female acquaintance to have sexual contact with him in the 00 block of North Clinton Street last fall.
Joseph W. Starr is set for trial April 9 and 10 on the charge of indecent liberties.
Officials said Starr and the victim were walking with a group of people Nov. 23 when she dropped and broke her phone and he stayed behind to help her pick up the pieces.
Starr allegedly started kissing and touching the girl inappropriately, then pushed her to the ground, got on top of her and started to drag her into a stairwell near some apartments.
She told authorities she screamed at him to stop, and one of the guys from the group she was hanging out with pushed Starr off of her and started beating him up, according to a police report filed in court.
Starr, of 620 S.E. Eighth St., No. 420, College Place, was arrested Feb. 8. Bail was set at $30,000.