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Hoke sentenced to life in prison for rape

A Proctorville man could spend the rest of his life in prison for raping a child. Robert Hoke, 38, of Proctorville, was sentenced Wednesday in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court to life in prison with the possibility of parole in 15 years for the rape of a 9-year-old.

Hoke was present in Judge Charles Cooper’s Courtroom with his attorney Mike Gleichauf but said nothing.

Earlier this month Hoke attempted to withdraw his plea. His argument was that he did not fully understand what he was doing when he pleaded guilty to a charge that could have sent him to prison for life without parole. The motion was denied.

Hoke plans to file an appeal of the sentencing and attorney Mike Davenport has been assigned to represent him.

During a multi-agency sex offender sweep in March, Hoke was arrested for failing to notify the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office of a change of address. Failing to report as a sex offender is a fifth degree felony. While he was incarcerated, the victim told authorities of the abuse, which prompted the new charge.

Craig Castle, 21, of 815 S. Ninth St. in Ironton, will go on trial for five counts of burglary. Castle turned down the plea bargain offered by assistant prosecutor Brigham Anderson, opting instead for a jury trial July 22 and 23.

Nicholas Sexton, 22, of 955 Third Ave. in Chesapeake, was sentenced to 30 days in the Lawrence County jail for violating the terms of his community-controlled sanctions.

Sexton, who admitted to the violation, was also sentenced to out patient treatment and his community-controlled sanctions were extended one year.

A knife and a firearm found in Sexton’s residence will be confiscated by the court as well.

Sexton’s attorney, Mike Gleichauf, said his client has done well in community-controlled sanctions so far except this violation and he expects him to do well in the future.

Ricky Sharrow, 49, of 7502 County Road 15 in Chesapeake, also admitted to violating his community-controlled sanctions by testing positive for drug use. Cooper sentenced Sharrow to a 3 month STAR after-care program.

“If he successfully completes that program the state recommends that his community-controlled sanctions be suspended,” Anderson said.

Cooper honored a request from Sharrow’s wife that he be given two weeks so that he can install a metal roof on the family’s residence. Cooper set bond at $10,000.