August sentence stands in child rape case

A Russell man’s attempt to see a decades-long prison sentence reduced — and secure a new trial — on child rape charges has been denied.

Anthony M. Neese, 28, was sentenced to 20 to 80 years incarceration in state prison back in August on charges of rape of a child, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, corruption of minors and other charges.

President Judge Maureen Skerda heard the argument Friday morning.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, Neese admitted to having sexual contact twice with a girl who was between the ages of 3 and 4 years old.

Neese allegedly contacted officials about the assault, according to the affidavit.

“The defendant disclosed … that he had sexually assaulted the victim.”

Neese told police he awoke on two or three occasions from “a drug and or alcohol issue” to the sexual activity, according to the affidavit. “The defendant… related he was drinking alcohol, doing drugs to include ingesting acid, smoking marijuana, and ingesting numerous prescription pills around the time of the incidents.”

Several members of the victim’s family allegedly knew of the assaults, according to the affidavit. Interviews “confirmed the victim had told” three adults “about the sexual assaults.”

He’s a lifetime sexual offender as a result of the conviction.

Assistant Public Defender Francis Waweru called the sentence “unduly harsh” for someone without any prior criminal record.

He argued that two of the offenses should have merged for sentencing purposes, which would have reduced the overall length of the sentence.

Skerda said that merger requires that the conduct to have occurred in a single act.

She also affirmed the consistency and “ample” testimony provided by family members to uphold a decision to not have the child victim testify in person.

“The court believes there was more than one act,” she said in denying the motion.


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