Sciotoville man gets 5 years on rape conviction

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 29, 2005

A Sciotoville man was ordered Wednesday to spend the next five years in prison on his rape conviction.

In sentencing Christopher Lee Spence, 27, 256 Conroy Ave., Lawrence County Common Pleas Judge Frank McCown cited the age of the victim - 10 years old at the time of the incident


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and the psychological damage as reasons why Spence deserved the sentence.

McCown also said he was dismayed that Spence had shown no remorse for what he had done.

"During the pre-sentence investigation you indicated you were being railroaded and this continues to be at odds with the facts," McCown told Spence. "There is certainly nothing to indicate you have any remorse at all."

McCown also took the stepfather of the child to task for agreeing that Spence could spend the night in the same bed with the child even though he was aware that Spence had been drinking so heavily he did not want to drive home after visiting with the victim's family the night the child was attacked.

"Frankly, I don't understand how a stepfather could allow this to happen, how in the world he allowed a man in a drunken state in to the bedroom to sleep with his young daughter is beyond me," McCown said.

Spence could have received as few as two years, as many as 10 for the first-degree rape charge. Assistant Lawrence County Prosecutor Charles Cooper contended that a light sentence would demean the seriousness of what had happened and McCown agreed.

Spence's attorney, Jim Boulger, contended that Spence had never been convicted of a felony offense before and his actions the night of the rape were exacerbated by alcohol, a problem for which he deserved treatment.

Also Wednesday, a Proctorville man pleaded no contest to a charge of felony breaking and entering. William Thacker, 46, of 96 Township Road 1161, was accused of breaking into an outbuilding of a neighbor Sept. 10. In pleading no contest to the charge, he bypassed grand jury consideration of the charges against him and waived his right to a jury trial.

Lawrence County Common Pleas Judge Richard Walton sentenced Thacker to six months in prison but gave him credit for time served in jail awaiting conclusion of his case.

A South Point man will spend the next six months in prison after he admitted Wednesday that he had violated the terms of his probation.

Ronald Witheral, 28, of 902 Gary Malone St., pleaded guilty in January to failing to report to authorities as a sex offender, which is a fifth-degree felony.

At that time, he was given probation. Assistant Lawrence County Prosecutor Bob Anderson said Witheral violated his probation by failing to report to his probation officer, getting arrested for domestic violence and testing positive for drug and alcohol use.