Prosecution recommends maximum sentence for Tucker

By Sarah Hawley -

POMEROY — The prosecution has filed its sentencing recommendation in the case against Larry Tucker, asking for a sentence of 96 years to life in prison.

Tucker, 56, was convicted in May of 24 of the 25 counts considered by the jury in the two cases against him.

The former corrections and probation officer was convicted on six counts of kidnapping, first-degree felonies; five counts of sexual battery, third-degree felonies; five counts of attempted sexual battery, fourth-degree felonies; four counts of gross sexual imposition, fourth-degree felonies; one count of attempted compelling prostitution, a fourth-degree felony; one count of soliciting, a third-degree misdemeanor; and one count of theft in office, a fifth-degree felony.

In the sentencing memorandum filed late last week by Special Prosecutor Angela Canepa, she put forth her case for the maximum possible sentence for Tucker.

Canepa stated that all of the charges against Tucker, with the exception of the two kidnapping charges in the second case, should be sentenced separately and run consecutive to one another. The two kidnapping charges from the second case would merge as they were for the same incident, stated Canepa.

There are still sexually violent predator specifications to be determined by Judge Linton Lewis which will impact the possible sentence in the case. According to Canepa’s filing, the specifications are on on the kidnapping and sexual battery charges. If he is found guilty of the specifications, the possible sentences for Tucker would be increased.

Without the specification, the kidnapping charges carry a maximum sentence of 11 years in prison on each count (total of 55 years possible, after the merger of the two charges). The sexual battery charges would carry a maximum of five years possible on each charge.

If found guilty of the specifications, the sentences would go from a definite term (11 years and five years) to the indefinite maximum term of 11 years to life in prison and five years to life in prison, respectively. Additionally, the kidnapping charges, if found guilty of the specification, would have a minimum sentence of 10 years to life in prison, and the sexual battery charges would have a minimum sentence of two years to life in prison.

Regarding the remaining charges, attempted sexual battery, gross sexual imposition and attempted compelling prostitution each carry a maximum sentence of 18 months in prison; theft in office carries a maximum sentence of 12 months in prison; and soliciting carries a maximum sentence of 60 days in jail, and must run consecutive to any felony sentence.

“A significant sentence is warranted to reflect the seriousness of these crimes,” stated Canepa in the filing. “Defendant’s use of his position of trust placed upon him by the court and the Middleport Police Department shows his disregard for the legal system and for society as a whole. Moreover, the period of time over which the defendant sexually assaulted 11 women — almost a decade, from 2010 to 2017 — demonstrates that the defendant is a chronic offender, has not led a law abiding life despite his lack of record until now, and shows that he remains an ongoing risk to the public.”

Additionally, Canepa notes the factors which make the crimes more serious, including “the victims suffered serious physical and psychological harm”, Tucker’s position of trust as a probation officer and corrections officer, and his “lack of remorse.”

“Most importantly, under the factors to be weighed as to whether the defendant is likely to reoffend, is the defendant’s complete lack of remorse,” stated Canepa.

“This was not a one-time act that the defendant committed in the heat of passion and immediately regretted, never to repeat again. This was a very purposeful, chronic pattern of conduct geared at using his power to prey upon those who were subject to his authority, over several years, with at least the eleven victims for which the defendant was convicted,” stated Canepa.

She added, “the defendant systematically preyed upon them for as long as he held those positions, and not once has he apologized or done anything that suggests that he is sorry to these women for the things he has done.”

Canepa concluded, “The state respectfully requests that this court impose an indefinite sentence of 80 years to life, consecutive to a 16 year definite prison term, for a total sentence of 96 years to life imprisonment. … Defendant should be punished for each and every offense that he committed against each and every victim, for each one was committed with a callous disregard for the significant toll that it took on the victims and was part of a nearly decade long systematic abuse of power and of victims that were vulnerable to and entrusted him.”

Tucker’s newly retained counsel William L. Burton filed a motion on May 24 for an extension of time to file his sentencing memorandum as he was retained on May 22.

Tucker remains housed in the Washington County Jail as he awaits sentencing.

A sentencing date has not yet been set.

By Sarah Hawley

Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.

Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.