Habitual offender back in jail, charged with sexually assaulting hospital worker

Habitual offender back in jail, charged with sexually assaulting hospital worker
(Rowan Detention Center)

SALISBURY, N.C. (WBTV) - A man with a very long and violent criminal record is back in jail, now accused of groping a worker at Novant Health Rowan Medical Center on Mocksville Avenue.

Billy Floyd Pless, 66, was charged with assault on a female and sexual battery. According to police, Pless groped a hospital worker by grabbing her private parts.

Bond was set at $2500.

In June, Pless was ordered to register as a sex offender for 30 years, following the terms of a plea deal reached on other charges in another case involving sexual battery.

According to the Rowan County District Attorney’s Office, Pless pleaded guilty to the felony charge of being a habitual felon, based on past convictions for assault.

Pless also pleaded guilty to sexual battery.

Pless received an active prison sentence of 11-23 months, but received credit for time served awaiting trial and was released after eight days.

Pless was in the second day of a trial on charges of kidnapping and sexual battery when the plea agreement was reached.

Described today by one law enforcement official as a “menace,” Pless recently served a stint in prison after he was convicted of felony habitual misdemeanor assault.

On January 8, 2015, the Rowan County Sheriff’s Department received a report of an assault that took place at the Rowan County Courthouse. A woman said that she had been to a court hearing that involved Pless. After the hearing, Pless said to the woman “Get out of my way,” before he hit the woman with his motorized wheelchair as she walked towards the elevator.

The woman was knocked against the wall and received "a large bruise on her upper leg" deputies say. Pless was charged with assault on a female.

Pless has a long criminal record and has been convicted of assault on a female, communicating threats, domestic criminal trespass, assault with a deadly weapon, and other charges.

The criminal record for Pless, who works as a piano tuner, goes back to 1982 when he was charged with assault with a deadly weapon. Pless was also charged with assault on a female in 1985, and again in 1986.

In 1992 Pless was charged with trespassing, in 1996 there were charges of communicating threats.

In 1997 and 2002 Pless was charged with disorderly conduct. In 2003 the charge was second degree trespassing, and habitual misdemeanor assault.

There were more disorderly conduct charges in 2008 and 2009, harassing phone calls in 2012, and assault and battery in 2013.

In April of 2014 Pless spoke at a Spencer Town Board meeting to ask that police officers stop following him. According to the minutes of the meeting, Pless said he had been arrested 132 times since 1982 and felt that he was now being harassed by police.

“Pless has a long history of assaults and communicating threats to females,” an official from the sheriff’s office said. “He is a common visitor to the court house.”

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