Curwensville man will serve 25-50 years for rape|
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
By Jeff Corcino Staff Writer
Yesterday Judge Paul Cherry sentenced a Curwensville man to serve 25-50 years in state prison for raping a 13-year-old girl.
Jeremie T. Suhoney, 37, of Curwensville pleaded guilty to all charges on May 2 and was sentenced yesterday to 10-20 years in prison on the two counts of rape, plus 10-20 years for three counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and 5-10 years for three counts of aggravated indecent assault charges.
During the hearing, Suhoney's attorney, Dan Bell of Clearfield, said he disagreed with Cherry's decision to have Suhoney serve his sentences consecutively. Because many of the charges have mandatory sentences, Bell argued that Suhoney should serve the longest mandatory sentence with the remaining sentences being concurrent.
However, Clearfield County Assistant District Attorney Trudy Lumadue argued that it is up to the judge to decide if the sentences should be served consecutively or concurrently.
Cherry then admonished Suhoney from the bench and said, "What's a 37-year-old man doing with a 13-year-old girl? It's inexcusable."
Suhoney responded by saying he did not do anything with the girl.
Cherry responded by saying the sentences would remain consecutive and noted that Suhoney has shown no remorse for his actions.
However, he told Bell he would reconsider the sentence if he could provide case law that demonstrates his assertion that the sentences should be served concurrently.
Following the hearing, Clearfield County District Attorney William Shaw Jr. said he was happy with Suhoney's sentence and said cases such as these are a top priority of his office.
"It is safe to say he won't re-offend again," Shaw said.
Shaw said defendants in these types of cases traditionally serve 75-80 percent of the maximum; for Suhoney this would mean 37½ to 40 years in prison.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, on Feb. 2, the victim went to Suhoney's residence on Walnut Street to visit with his children and stay overnight.
After the other children went to sleep, the girl told police Suhoney lay down next to her at approximately 3 a.m. and began removing her clothes and sexually assaulted her. The girl said she told him to stop and tried to push him away but he continued and raped her twice.
The next morning on the school bus two of the victim's friends noticed she was upset and asked her what was wrong but she said she did not want to talk about it. Her friends persisted and she eventually told them what happened. The girl's friends reported it to officials at the Curwensville Area School District who notified police.
When interviewed by police on Feb. 6, Suhoney admitted to having sexual intercourse with the girl but said it did not happen the way the girl said.
He also said he thought the girl was 18 or 19 years old, according to a previous article in The Progress.
Shaw praised the Curwensville Borough Police Department and the state police for their work on the case.
Suhoney was also charged with other related charges in the case such as criminal attempt aggravated indecent assault, indecent assault, statutory sexual assault, endangering the welfare of children and corruption of minors, but Cherry made the sentences for those charges concurrent to the original sentences so they do not add to his time in prison.
In other cases during yesterday afternoon's session of motions court, Cherry approved the commonwealth's request to join the drug charges and the child endangerment charges against Brianna Wood-Kifer, 33, of Woodland for the purposes of trial.
Wood is accused of selling drugs in her home to undercover agents while her children were present.
She is charged with four counts of manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture controlled substance, and three counts of criminal use of a communication facility and manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver a controlled substance, intentional possession of a controlled substance by a person not registered and use/possession of drug paraphernalia.
She is also charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of children and two counts of corruption of minors.
Her trial date is set for Sept. 25-27.
Cherry also approved her attorney Chris Pentz's request for a 60-day time extension to file pre-trial motions and notices.
Cherry sentenced Beecher Laforce, 22, of Clearfield to 180 days in prison for violating a protection from abuse order. Judge Cherry sentenced him to 90 days for contempt for violating the PFA and an additional 90 days on a private bench warrant to be served consecutively.
According to the victim, she had dated Beecher for several years and had a PFA placed against him after the relationship had ended.
On the evening of May 20, she said, she went to Sheetz with her current boyfriend and some other friends when they passed Laforce, who was in a vehicle on Nichols Street waiting for the red light at the Sheetz intersection.
She said her boyfriend and Laforce started yelling at each other and got out of the vehicles and met in the middle of the road and began arguing before moving to the Citgo station parking lot.
The victim said she went to Sheetz and as she was about to go inside, Laforce came over and made a threat.
The victim's 19-year-old friend also testified she heard Laforce make the threat.
During his testimony, Laforce denied making any threats toward the victim. He also said the victim's current boyfriend is his best friend and said their relationship had become strained when his friend began dating his ex-girlfriend.
He said when he got out of his car and met his friend in the Citgo parking lot on May 20 it was to smooth things over and repair their friendship, not to fight.
His attorney, Douglas Campbell, also produced the surveillance video from Sheetz, and he said it shows that his client did not approach the victim as she testified.
However, Assistant District Attorney Beau Grove testified that the video only shows a small portion of the parking lot and does not disprove the victim's testimony because the confrontation could have occurred off-camera.
Cherry said he believed the victim's friend's testimony was credible and sentenced Laforce to the two 90-day prison sentences.