GALLIPOLIS — Another Gallia County man has been sentenced to prison in Gallia County Common Pleas Court following sexual contact with an underage victim.
Rickey L. Hooten Jr., 24, of Gallipolis, was in court last week and sentenced to 17 months in prison following his unlawful sexual conduct with a minor last summer.
According to the indictment that was not filed until Feb. 7, 2014, Hooten had sexual contact between June 14 and July 15 with a female who was 14 years of age at the time of incident. In addition, the indictment outlines a charge of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles — a charge that allegedly stemmed from an incident that occurred between Sept. 21 and Sept. 28, 2013.
Hooten was arrested Feb. 13 and later pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. He was subsequently released from the Gallia County Jail on an own-recognizance bond.
After negotiating a plea agreement, Hooten appeared on Aug. 4 and admitted to unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, a fourth-degree felony. As part of his plea, the prosecution dismissed the dissemination of matter harmful to juveniles charge. The defendant appeared again this past week for his sentencing hearing.
Following sentencing, Gallia County Prosecutor Jeff Adkins said the prosecutor’s office, as part of the plea agreement, will recommend that Hooten be released after he has served nine months in the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. Hooten has also been ordered to have no contact with the person or property of the victim.
“The family was in agreement with the plea arrangement,” Adkins said. “They were relieved that their daughter did not have to testify. What made it tough for them was that he was a family friend who came to their house, played church softball with them, etc.”
In addition, Adkins said Hooten will be placed on community control following his release and also must register as a Tier II Sexually Oriented Offender, which means that he will be ordered to report twice a year for 25 years to the sheriff’s office in the county of his residence.
The defendant was given credit for one day served and has been ordered to pay the costs of prosecution.