Three out of four National Guard soldiers arrested for the 2017 sodomizing of a woman in a Kentucky hotel room have taken plea deals for reduced charges, a report said Wednesday.
Anthony Tubolino, Tyler Hart and Jacob Ruth pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of sexual misconduct that could carry a penalty of 12 months behind bars after a deal with prosecutors. Their charges were reduced from a felony of first-degree sodomy, the Murray Ledger & Times reported.
The three soldiers will be sentenced on April 20 — when a judge will decide whether they will serve their sentences in prison, or be conditionally discharged, the paper reported.
The fourth defendant, Austin Dennis, has said he wishes to face a jury trial to battle the sodomy charge, a Class B felony that carries a possible prison sentence of 10 to 20 years.
Kentucky State Police responded to a report of a sexual assault at Murray-Calloway County Hospital on June 3, 2017. The four soldiers were in town for a weekend National Guard deployment and were arrested for the crime the same day, WDRB reported at the time.
Tublino and Hart had initially faced charges for rape.
Hart’s plea deal included an additional 12-month sentence for reducing the charge to sexual misconduct.
Tubolino was also charged with unlawful transaction with a minor and driving under the influence, which resulted in additional sentences of 12 months and 30 days, respectively.
The victim was older than 18 but younger than 21 at the time of the sexual assault, the paper reported.
At the time, Kentucky’s adjutant general condemned the rape in a statement.
“Sexual assault is not only a reprehensible act, it is a criminal act,” Maj. Gen. Stephen Hogan said.
“First and foremost our goal is to support the victim of this incident. It is damaging to our morale, to our readiness and to our combat ability. It has no place in the Kentucky National Guard.”