Sentencing hearing delayed for man who pleaded guilty to sex abuse

The sentencing hearing for a man who pleaded guilty to sexual abuse of a minor has been pushed back until January.

Judge Philip Pallenberg on Tuesday rescheduled the sentencing hearing for Joseph R. Nell, 40, for Jan. 11, 2013. The hearing was previously set to occur Wednesday.

Nell was originally indicted by a Juneau grand jury last May on five counts of first-degree sexual abuse of a minor for conduct over a seven-year period with the same child, whom he knew.

Nell pleaded guilty to a reduced charge — second-degree sexual abuse of a minor — in September.

The judge will decide during the sentencing hearing whether to accept a plea agreement that calls for 20 years of prison with 12 years suspended.

Nell formerly worked at the University of Alaska Southeast. He is currently in custody at Lemon Creek Correctional Center.

• Contact reporter Emily Russo Miller at 523-2263 or at

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