May 4—COOPERSTOWN — A Laurens woman pleaded guilty to charges of raping a minor in exchange for a lesser sentence Monday, May 3, in Otsego County Court.
Shelly Ann Young, 38, of Laurens, pleaded guilty to the second-degree rape of a person younger than 15.
Under the terms of a plea deal, Young will serve a six-month prison sentence on weekends, from 6 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Monday, beginning this weekend. Young has been free since posting $2,500 bail following her February 2020 arrest.
Young was also sentenced to 10 years' probation following her release and must register as a sex offender. Judge John F. Lambert renewed an order of protection for the victim.
Young, 37 at the time, was charged with second-degree rape and first-degree dissemination of indecent material to a minor following a Jan. 22, 2020, incident in which she had sex with a person younger than 15.
"Tell me in your own words what happened," Lambert said.
"Honestly, it happened fast. It was a mistake," Young replied after a pause. "I thought he was 16, but it still don't make a difference. It's still wrong."
A conviction of second-degree rape, a D felony, usually carries a prison sentence of two to seven years under New York state law.
Young is scheduled to be sentenced at 10:30 a.m. Monday, May 24.
Lambert warned Young that if she is arrested on any additional charges in the meantime or fails to appear, as she did for her initial hearing in September, the plea agreement will be void.
"I'm telling you right now that if you return to court, I will not be bound by the promise that we made here in open court," Lambert said. "At that time, I'll be free to impose upon you the maximum penalty allowable under the law, which is 237 years in state prison, and you will not be allowed to withdraw your guilty plea."
Otsego County District Attorney John Muehl was directed to contact the victim's family to offer them the chance to make a statement at the sentencing.
Young waived her right to appeal in exchange for the plea.
Sarah Eames, staff writer, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 607-441-7213. Follow her @DS_SarahE on Twitter.