Tucker sentenced to more than 20 years prison


Former corrections officer innocent of being sexually violent predator

By Sarah Hawley - shawley@aimmediamidwest.com



Larry Tucker is led from court in handcuffs following the verdict in his trial in May 2019.

Larry Tucker is led from court in handcuffs following the verdict in his trial in May 2019.


File photo

POMEROY — More than nine months after a Meigs County jury returned 24 guilty verdicts in the case against former corrections and probation officer Larry Tucker, he returned to the courtroom where he used to work to be sentenced on the charges Wednesday.

Judge Linton Lewis, who was assigned to the case, heard testimony or nine witnesses, including an expert for the defense and prosecution, regarding the sexually violent predator specification on the kidnapping and sexual battery charges.

Tucker, 57, of Pomeroy, was convicted on May 2, 2019 of 24 of the 25 charges considered by the jury in the case against him.

Tucker worked as a corrections officer at the Middleport Jail and as a Meigs County Common Pleas Court probation officer and bailiff. Tucker allegedly sexually assaulted or attempted to sexually assault 12 different inmates and/or probationers between January 2011 and November 2017.

The jury found him guilty on six counts of kidnapping, six counts of sexual battery, five counts of attempted sexual battery, four counts of gross sexual imposition, one count of soliciting, one count of attempting to compel prostitution and one count of theft in office. The lone not guilty verdict came on a misdemeanor count of sexual imposition.

Tucker had waived the jury hearing the sexually violent predator specifications, deferring to Judge Lewis to make the decision on those. Lewis ultimately found Tucker innocent of being a sexually violent predator. Had Tucker been found guilty of the specifications, he could have faced a possible life sentence.

The hearing and sentencing was delayed multiple times over the nine months, allowing for the completion of the transcript at the request of Tucker’s newly retained council, as well as delays for evaluations by experts, for medical concerns related to defense council and the payment of fees and expenses.

As was the case during the nine day trial, the state was represented by Special Prosecutor Angela Canepa and co-counsel Natasha Natale. At trial, Tucker was represented by public defender Kirk McVay. Days after the verdict, Tucker retained council William Burton from Marietta, who was assisted at Wednesday’s hearing by co-counsel Donnie Burton.

The defense presented one witness during the sexually violent predator hearing, expert witness Dr. Bob Stinson. The prosecution called a total of eight witnesses, including their own expert witness, former co-workers of Tucker and former probationers.

In order to determine that Tucker is a sexually violent predator, the judge had to determine a number of factors related to the likelihood that Tucker would reoffend once released from prison.

The defense expert contended that based on his tests and evaluation that Tucker had a low likelihood of reoffending. He referenced on multiple occasions that age was a factor which made it less likely for Tucker to reoffend. Stinson stated that the number of victims or alleged victims also did not impact the likelihood a person would reoffend.

The state expert, Dr. Jamie Adkins, stated that given that Tucker did not offend for the first time until he was in his late 40s and early 50s that age could not be a determining factor in whether or not he was likely to reoffend. She added that the number of victims should also be considered.

The sentence handed down by Judge Lewis was as follows:

Case 18-CR-109

Count 1: Sexual Battery against Victim No. 1 — Two years in prison, consecutive to others;

Count 2: Sexual Battery against Victim No. 1 — Two years in prison, consecutive to others;

Count 3: Sexual Battery against Victim No. 2 — Two years in prison, consecutive to others;

Count 4: Sexual Battery against Victim No. 3 — Two years in prison, consecutive to others;

Count 5: Sexual Battery against Victim No. 3 — Two years in prison, consecutive to others;

Count 6: Kidnapping against Victim No. 3 — Three years in prison, concurrent with others;

Count 7: Attempted Sexual Battery against Victim No. 3 — One year in prison, consecutive to others;

Count 8: Kidnapping against Victim No. 3 — Three years in prison, concurrent with others;

Count 9: Gross Sexual Imposition against Victim No. 4 — Nine months in prison, consecutive to others;

Count 10: Gross Sexual Imposition against Victim No. 5 — Nine months in prison, consecutive to others;

Count 11: Attempted Sexual Battery against Victim No. 6 — One year in prison, consecutive to others;

Count 12: Soliciting against Victim No. 6 — 60 days in jail, concurrent with others;

Count 13: Kidnapping against Victim No. 6 — Three years in prison, concurrent with others;

Count 14: Attempted Sexual Battery against Victim No. 7 — One year in prison, consecutive to others;

Count 15: Kidnapping against Victim No. 7 — Three years in prison, concurrent with others;

Count 16: Sexual Imposition against Victim No. 8 — Not Guilty

Count 17: Gross Sexual Imposition against Victim No. 9 — Nine months in prison, consecutive to others;

Count 18: Attempted Sexual Battery against Victim No. 10 — One year in prison, consecutive to others;

Count 19: Attempted Compelling Prostitution against Victim No. 10 — Six months in prison, consecutive to others;

Count 20: Sexual Battery against Victim No. 11 — Two years in prison, consecutive to others;

Count 21: Theft in Office — Six months in prison, concurrent to others;

Case 19-CR-001

Count 1: Gross Sexual Imposition against Victim No. 12 — Nine months in prison, consecutive to others;

Count 2: Kidnapping against Victim No. 12 and Count 3: Kidnapping against Victim No. 12 (merge for the purpose of sentencing) — Three years in prison, concurrent with others;

Count 4: Attempted Sexual Battery against Victim No. 12 — One year in prison, consecutive to others.

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Larry Tucker is led from court in handcuffs following the verdict in his trial in May 2019.
https://www.mydailysentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/14/2020/03/web1_5.3-Tucker-Verdict_ne20195220195986.jpgLarry Tucker is led from court in handcuffs following the verdict in his trial in May 2019. File photo
Former corrections officer innocent of being sexually violent predator

By Sarah Hawley

shawley@aimmediamidwest.com

Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.

Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.