Posted: Thursday, April 27, 2006 10:31 pm
Madison Circuit Judge William Jennings sentenced a Berea man Thursday to one year in prison for molesting a 15-year-old female international student.
Paul Stone, 54, had entered a guilty plea April 4, the day before he was scheduled to go on trial.
Stone was indicted Feb. 9 on charges of third-degree sodomy, attempted third-degree rape and third-degree sexual abuse. The last two charges were dropped as part of his plea agreement.
According to Jennifer Hall, an assistant Madison County commonwealth’s attorney, Stone must serve at least 20 percent of his sentence before he can be eligible for parole. He also must complete a sex offender treatment course, which takes about a year.
As a convicted sex offender, Stone also faces three years of “conditional discharge” after his release, Hall said.
Had he been convicted of all three original charges, Stone could have faced up to five years in prison and 18 months in jail.
The victim, an exchange student from Taiwan, was attending a Berea high school. Stone and his wife were the student’s host parents.
According to the indictment, the offense took place at the Stones’ residence Dec. 12. Investigators believe Stone used the student’s lack of knowledge of American culture to take advantage of her, said Lt. Ken Clark of the Berea Police Department.
The student related the incident to the exchange program’s coordinator, who then contacted Berea police.
“The investigations gave enough probable cause and proof to indict (Stone),” Clark said.
Stone was a truck driver and had only lived in Berea for about a year, Clark said.
Joice Biazoto can be reached at email@example.com or 624-6694.