The Richmond Register

Crime

May 7, 2013

Ky. court upholds ruling in sex-abuse case

MADISON COUNTY — A former Berea man convicted of sexually abusing a 17-year-old relative while she stayed at his home lost his appeal to the Kentucky Supreme Court.

Mark Stinson, who was 37 at the time, entered an Alford plea to first-degree sexual abuse in 2010 in Madison Circuit Court. However, he retained his right to appeal certain elements of the case to higher courts.

Judge Jean C. Logue sentenced Stinson to one year in prison and five years conditional release. He also is required to register as a sex offender for 10 years after his release.

Stinson now lives in Ashland, according to the Kentucky State Police Sex Offender Registry.

Stinson admitted he engaged in “consensual” sexual contact with the girl in the summer of 2009 while she stayed at his home. The girl, who is referred to by the pseudonym “Betty” in court documents, is related to him by marriage.

A Madison County grand jury indicted Stinson on the sexual abuse charge because he was in a position of authority or special trust over the victim, as defined by state statute.

In 2008, the original sex-abuse law was amended by the state legislature to apply to victims up to 18 years old when a perpetrator is in a position of authority or special trust.

Stinson argued before the Kentucky Court of Appeals that the phrase “position of authority or special trust” was unconstitutionally vague in the sex-abuse statute.

The appellate judges disagreed, citing the statute’s inclusion of “foster parent, relative” and “household member” as people who would have authority over a minor.

The state supreme court also disagreed, stating “Clearly, (Stinson), Betty’s uncle, and the the head of the household at the time, falls within these definitions.”

Stinson also argued that “lack of consent” is an element of the crime of sex abuse, and he claimed throughout the case that the incidents with the girl were consensual.

The 2008 amendment to the sex-abuse statute, adding perpetrators in “trustful” positions, does not reference lack of consent as an element of the crime, the state supreme court said.

The law states that a person in a position of authority is able to exercise “undue influence over the minor.”

“Quite simply, a person cannot effectively consent to an activity when they have been influenced or coerced into participation by the power of the inherently trustful relationship,” the court stated.

The Kentucky Supreme Court also noted that the law defines the criminal act as when a person “in a position of undue authority or position subjects a minor who is less than 18” to sexual contact.

By using the word “subjects,” the court said it’s clear the focus of the law is on the conduct of the person in the “trustful position” rather that on whether the minor was a voluntary participant.

The Kentucky Supreme Court rendered the decision April 25. It is a published opinion, meaning the ruling can be cited as precedent in future cases of a similar nature.

Stinson can petition the U.S. Supreme Court to review his case.

Sarah Hogsed can be reached at shogsed@richmondregister.com or 624-6694.

 

1
Text Only
Crime
  • 7-30 Samantha Frederick.jpg RPD: Heroin sales lead to trafficking indictment

    Executing a warrant issued after Samantha Frederick, 29, Northgate Drive, was indicted July 16 by a Madison County grand jury, Richmond Police arrested her Monday on drug trafficking charges.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-29 Robert Abney.jpg RPD: Bottle bomb injures man, damages neighbor’s home

    Richmond Police on Friday charged Robert Abney, 30, of Moberly Avenue, in connection with a May 30 explosion that injured Abney and damaged a neighbor’s home.
    Officers were dispatched May 30 to a residence in the 500 block of Moberly Avenue to investigate the report of an explosion.
    They found the remains of a plastic bottle bomb near a residence adjoining Moberly’s, according to an RPD news release. A wall of the occupied home was smoldering and grass was burned in the area, it added.

    July 28, 2014 4 Photos

  • Jailed woman charged with heroin trafficking

    A Richmond woman already jailed on another charge was served with a drug trafficking warrant Thursday.

    July 26, 2014

  • 7-25 William Gilbert.jpg Four arrested on meth charges at Berea motel

    Berea Police arrested four people Wednesday at the Knights Inn on Chestnut Street, including a man they said tried to conceal a meth lab on his person.

    July 24, 2014 5 Photos

  • 7-24 Justin Smith.jpg One arrested, one sought in Sunday home invasion

    Two men in search of another man broke into a Keystone Drive home Sunday and harassed residents in another nearby home Monday, according to a Richmond Police report.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • RPD: Man falls through ceiling attempting to elude police

    When Richmond Police went to Cody Shelton’s Kristin Drive apartment at 9:44 p.m. Wednesday to arrest him on a parole-violation charge, they said he attempted to elude them by hiding in the attic crawl space.

    July 18, 2014

  • Man indicted in Manhattan Club shooting

    A man charged in a May 20 shooting at the Manhattan Club in which a man was wounded was indicted Wednesday by a Madison County grand jury.

    July 17, 2014

  • 7-18 Aaron Tate.jpg Local burglary suspect found in Texas border town

    A man wanted in Madison County on burglary and criminal mischief charges since March was arrested July 11 by the U.S. Marshal Service in Brownsville, Texas, on the Mexican board.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mother pleads guilty to allowing child rape

    Deanna Lawson, charged with 20 counts of complicity in the rape and sodomy of a minor, pleaded guilty in Madison Circuit Court on Wednesday.
    Between October 2011 and September 2012, Eric Kelley had sexual relations with Lawson’s two daughters, according to court documents.
    She was charged with complicity after police said they learned Lawson knew of the crimes but didn’t try to stop them or alert authorities.

    July 12, 2014

  • No extra jail time for parents on prostitution charge

    Anthony and Kathy Hart, two Madison County residents who pleaded guilty May 21 to prostituting their daughters, won’t be seeing any extra time in jail.
    Both parents, who served time in jail while their charges were pending, were sentenced to probation Thursday in Madison Circuit Court.

    July 11, 2014

AP Video
Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Should Madison County’s three local governing bodies ban smoking in indoor public places?

Yes
No
     View Results