|7/19/2013 12:04:00 AM|
Man pleads, receives 15 years in prison
Aiken County resident guilty of sexually assaulting a minor during 10-year span
|From staff reports|
An Aiken County resident pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a Saluda County woman for a 10-year span Wednesday in a Saluda County courtroom.
Kendal Carol Sudduth, 36, of North Augusta, was sentenced to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to charges of second- and third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor during general sessions hearing at the Saluda County Courthouse. Circuit Court Judge Michael Baxley handed down the sentences, issuing a 10- and five-year prison terms - to be served consecutively - on the respective sexual exploitation counts. The judge tacked on a three-year prison sentences for the third charge, which will run concurrently with the other two counts.
Sudduth's plea came during the third day of a jury trial in reference to the allegations. Prosecutors said he decided to accept a guilty plea after two of the state's witnesses - including the victim - testified against him. According to the negotiated plea deal, two counts of criminal sexual conduct, which were initially brought against him, were dismissed in consideration of his cooperation.
According to prosecutors and Saluda police officials, Sudduth began assaulting the victim - then a 7-year-old - in 1996. The abuse continued until the victim reported it to Saluda police in 2007. Part of the investigation included allegations he showed the victim pornographic images.
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