Somerset man to get 20 years in plea deal

Apr. 27—A Somerset man pleaded guilty Thursday to several sexual abuse and burglary charges, agreeing to a 20-year sentence in Pulaski County Circuit Court.

Tyler B. Stewart, 22, faced charges in five separate cases.

One case concerned sexual charges including at least one minor. Those charges include first-degree Unlawful Transaction with a Minor (Victim Under 16) (Illegal Sex Act); Use of a Minor Under 16 in a Sex Performance; Promoting a Sexual Performance by a Minor (Victim Under 16); Use of an Electronic Communication to Entice a Minor Into a Sex Act; Possession of Matter Portraying a Sexual Performance of a Minor; Distribution of Obscene Material to a Minor; Sexual Misconduct; and second-degree Sexual Abuse.

The first two charges carry a sentence of 10 years each, with the others being 1-year sentences. All sentences are to run concurrently for a total of 10 years.

The first two charges also are considered to be violent offenses, meaning the defendant must serve at least 85% of the sentence before being considered for parole.

This case also requires the defendant to serve an additional five years of conditional discharge upon release from jail, and the defendant must register as a sex offender for life.

The second case involves four charges of Burglary and four charges of Unlawful Transaction with a Minor, for a total of five years.

The final three cases have a total sentence of five years.

In those cases, Stewart pleaded guilty to the theft of a Jeep, the theft of a golf cart, Burglary and Unlawful Transaction with a Minor by giving a minor drugs.

The separate sentences (10 years, five years and five years) will run consecutively for a total of 20 years.

Pulaski Circuit Judge Teresa Whitaker said she would accept the guilty plea and scheduled sentencing for July 13.

At that point, Stewart's attorney, Brian Reed, asked Judge Whitaker if Stewart would be allowed to be released from the Pulaski County Detention Center with an ankle monitor so that he could spend time with family before serving his sentence.

Commonwealth's Attorney David Dalton objected, noting that all of the offenses Stewart had just pleaded guilty to happened at a time when he was on pre-trial diversion in a previous case.

Stewart's pretrial diversion was revoked in that previous case, and in July 2021 he was sentenced to five years on a 2019 Burglary conviction.

Dalton said that previous performance, coupled with Dalton's belief that he is a flight risk, meant Dalton felt it was too risky to allow Stewart out on bond before his sentencing.

Judge Whitaker said she would consider the request and give a written response at a later date.

Carla Slavey can be reached at cslavey@somerset-kentucky.com