A 23-year-old Elkins man pleaded guilty to third-degree sexual assault in Randolph County Circuit Court Friday.
Stacy James Wise pleaded guilty to one count of third-degree sexual assault in exchange for the prosecution dropping the remaining three counts, according to a plea agreement accepted by Randolph County Circuit Court Judge Jaymie Goodwin Wilfong. Special prosecuting attorney Gary Morris said the agreement had been reached with the consent of the alleged female victim; the complainant, the alleged victim's grandmother; and the arresting officer.
Wise was indicted on four felony counts of third-degree sexual assault in Circuit Court in July, according to previous reports. On Friday, Wise admitted to having sexual intercourse with a then-15-year-old female on Oct. 5, 2010, when he was 21.
"Did you know she was 15 at the time and at least four years younger than you?" Wilfong asked.
"Yes," Wise replied.
Wilfong advised Wise that if she accepted his pleas, he would be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life and undergo HIV testing, with the test results being made available to the alleged victim and her family.
The penalty for third-degree sexual assault is one to five years in the state penitentiary, a fine of up to $10,000 or both.
A sentencing hearing is set for 10:30 a.m. Oct. 24.
Wilfong also presided over a violation of bond hearing involving Robert Lee Scott, 31, of Elkins. Scott pleaded not guilty to four felony counts of delivery of a controlled substance and three felony counts of conspiracy in July.
Scott's attorney, James Hawkins, said Scott admitted to having violated the terms of his bond by failing to check in with Randolph County Community Corrections on Aug. 30 after consuming half a suboxone tablet on Aug. 29. Suboxone is a drug commonly used to treat opiate addiction, according to information from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
"Mr. Scott was very forthright with the community corrections officer, and did not miss a day (of checking in) in the previous 10 months he was on community corrections," Hawkins argued. "This isn't a situation where he's failed to show up for court. He suffers from anxiety and other stressors going on in his life, and we just don't feel that this one occasion rises to the level of keeping him incarcerated."
Wilfong said she would not revoke bond and advised Scott to take advantage of the services available to him via the community corrections program, including counseling and relapse prevention.
Also in Circuit Court Friday, Austin Drayden Shaffer, 22, waived his right to an extradition hearing. Shaffer will be transferred to Virginia, which has a detainer on him for grand larceny.
All defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.