A Hillsboro man was sentenced to four years in prison on Wednesday for sexual offenses involving a teenager.
Terry L. Kaufman, 42, pled guilty in November to unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, a third-degree felony, and to pandering obscenity involving a minor, a fourth-degree felony. He was sentenced in Highland County Common Pleas Court to 36 months in prison and 12 months in prison, respectively, on the charges.
After serving those consecutive sentences, Kaufman will have to register as a Tier II sexual offender, requiring him to register every 180 days for 25 years.
Highland County Assistant Prosecutor Molly Bolek said Kaufman “took advantage of an innocuous relationship” with the victim.
Defense attorney J.D. Wagoner said he was not downplaying the seriousness of the offenses, but he requested less time than what the state recommended, which was the 48 months total.
He said Kaufman had “accepted guilt” and he had “spared” the 15-year-old victim from having to testify. Wagoner said that while he used the term “loosely,” the relationship and the exchange of photos between Kaufman and the victim was “consensual,” not forced.
But Highland County Common Pleas Court Judge Rocky Coss said that Kaufman only took responsibility for his actions “after he failed a polygraph.”
The judge said he found the presentence report “striking” in that Kaufman on questions about how he would describe the victim, did so by stating that she had a juvenile record. Coss said that in the report Kaufman also said the teen “knew what she was doing and didn’t care about the rules.”
Coss said that may have been the case with the teenager, but with her being 15, the situation “was way out of line.”
In another hearing, a Greenfield man is returning to prison after admitting to community control violations that include using a myriad of drugs, failing to report, and failing to successfully complete recommended aftercare treatment.
Gregory Allen Ralph, 38, was initially sentenced to 30 months in prison in October 2013 after pleading guilty to third-degree felony heroin possession. He was granted judicial release to the STAR treatment program in June 2014.
Ralph on Wednesday told the court he was not making excuses and had told his FRS counselor that he relapsed. He was then referred to a doctor to seek Suboxone treatment, a drug used to treat opiate addiction. He said he was waiting on the prescription when he was arrested nearly two weeks ago.
He asked the court for a chance to try the Suboxone treatment because he had not had an opportunity with it before. He told the court that he had taken the drug earlier this year, but had just started the treatment before being ordered to another program.
Coss noted that Ralph completed STAR, but didn’t go to FRS following that treatment. When he did finally go, Coss said the defendant tested positive for drugs and was ordered to go to another treatment facility. After leaving that facility, Coss said Ralph failed to report for “a while,” and then did not go back to FRS until recently.
The defendant has had “numerous attempts” to get clean, Coss said. The judge also noted that Ralph has a previous felony history, and that the defendant was told when he was granted judicial release that he was getting “a huge break.”
“It seems at this point there is no future in giving you any more chances,” Coss said.
Ralph will be given credit for his time in STAR and for time already served on the 30-month sentence.
Amber Rae Blankenship, 26, Hillsboro, also admitted to community control violations, but was ordered to successfully complete the STAR relapse program.
Blankenship was sentenced to 18 months in prison two years ago and in June 2014 was granted judicial release to the STAR treatment program.
On Wednesday she admitted to the violations of using heroin and associating with a person with a criminal record, something that is typically forbidden when a person is on community control.
According to defense attorney Allyce Horne, for the last year Blankenship has done “really well,” but she said things began to “deteriorate” for the defendant when she began associating with the wrong person.
Her community control was continued and she was ordered to successfully complete the relapse program, which she is slated to begin in February.
Reach Angela Shepherd at 937-393-3456, ext. 1681, or on Twitter @wordyshepherd.