It’s being reported that the former Columbia County Sheriff’s Deputy charged with dozens of counts of child sexual abuse may be ready to enter a plea in the case. Columbia County District Attorney Stephen Atchison tells the Saint Helens Chronicle that he’s been informed that the judge in the case had scheduled a plea hearing for John Hinkle, set up for tomorrow. Hinkle is charges with 40 separate counts, arrested on May 6th of this year. It’s alleged that he abused a female family member between 1999 and 2006. The hearing is set for 11:30 tomorrow morning, but Atchison says he doesn’t think that sentencing would be held at that time. It’s also noted that Hinkle is still being investigated for other allegations involving a girl from Scappoose, and for incidents that took place while Hinkle was working as a school resource officer in Rainier. Those investigations are separate from this previous set of charges.