NEW PHILADELPHIA — Jared D. McNutt, 19, will spend at least eight years in prison for raping a 12-year-old.
At a sentencing hearing Friday, Tuscarawas County Common Pleas Judge Michael Ernest said alcohol was used — sometimes to excess — in the commission of the crimes, but that McNutt did not use or threaten force. He said McNutt met the victim online.
The Adult Parole Authority has the ability to extend McNutt's prison sentence by up to four years based on his behavior.
McNutt, of New Philadelphia, pleaded guilty to two counts of rape and one count each of gross sexual imposition and disseminating matter harmful to jurveniles.
The victim suffered psychological harm and made statements about possibly harming herself after the crimes came to the attention of law enforcement, Ernest said.
"I'm sorry for what I have done," McNutt said in court.
He will serve five years on parole after his release from prison. As a Tier Three sex offender, McNutt will be required to register his address with the local sheriff every 90 days for the rest of his life.
The judge gave him credit against his prison sentence for 102 days already spent in the county jail.
Ernest ordered McNutt to have no contact with the victim while in prison.
The potential penalty for each rape was three to 11 years in prison and a $20,500 fine.
The sentence followed the recommendation made by assistant county prosecutor Kristine Beard.
As part of a plea agreement finalized May 17, the rape charges were amended to eliminate the possibility of a life sentence, Beard said. The original charges said the victim was younger than 13. The final charges said she was 13 or older.
Defense attorney Kelly Murray of Canton asked the judge to sentence McNutt on the low end of the range because of his age and disability. She did not specify the nature of the disabilty, but referred to material contained in background reports from the Community Corrections Program and Melymbrosia Associates of Canton, which offers counseling for sex offenders.
McNutt has no criminal history as a juvenile or adult.
Ernest told him that the decisions he had made caused "wreckage" in his life, his family's life and, most importantly, that of his victim.
He said McNutt could go to prison being resentful and angry, "but at the end of the day, you're going to have to accept what you've done here as being wholly inappropriate and wrong, and from then, move on. You're a young man."
He advised the defendant to keep in mind, and use, the positive qualities that other people have seen in him
"I want you to try to rebound from this," Ernest said. "Society needs you to rebound from this."
The victim did not attend the sentencing. Victim advocate Krista Nutter said the victim's mother agreed with the amendment that resulted in the prosecutor recommending the eight-to-12 year sentence.
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This article originally appeared on The Times-Reporter: New Philadelphia man, 19, gets 8-12 years in prison for raping child