Man sentenced on sodomy conviction

A Laurel County man convicted of abusing a 5-year-old child over a five-month period in 2017 was formally sentenced in Laurel Circuit Court last week.

Joshua Aiden Towe, 24, of Keavy, will now serve a life sentence after a jury found him guilty on two charges of first-degree sexual abuse and two counts of first-degree sodomy in August. Towe's sentencing was scheduled for last week, since the conviction necessitated a sex offender evaluation, causing the formal sentencing to hinge on the completion of that step in the judicial process.

The nine-count indictment against Towe came after it was determined that he had exposed the child to sexual contact from May through October 2017. The jury recommended that Towe serve a five-year sentence on the two sex abuse charges, which is the minimum penalty for those offenses. But he received the maximum sentence of life on one sodomy charge and a 20-year sentence on a second sodomy charge. First-degree sodomy carries a potential sentence of 20 to 50 years in prison, or life. A life sentence means that the person must serve at least 20 years in prison before the first opportunity for parole. During the trial, the Commonwealth Attorney's office had a parole and probation officer explain that becoming eligible for parole does not mean that the person will be released upon that hearing.

Also sentenced last week was James Adam Peters, 34, of Kelley Road in McKee, Kentucky, possession of a gambling device on Feb. 11, 2019 Peters was sentenced to serve 12 months in jail, probated for 24 months. He was originally indicted in a four-count indictment in April for first-degree promoting gambling, possession of gambling records, possession of a gambling device and first-degree persistent felony offender.

Peters was arrested in February after Laurel Sheriff's officials investigated complaints that Peters was allowing illegal gambling at Pappy's Pool Room on KY 490. When deputies arrived at the scene, they found several people inside the business where 11 gambling machines were housed and operating. But the records of the payouts and intake of the machines is what clinched the charges against Peters in violation of the state's gambling laws.

njohnson@sentinel-echo.com

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