LOWVILLE — Six months ago, a then 22-year-old from Croghan admitted he sexually abused a 17-year-old girl in a plea deal that landed him six months in local jail and 10 years of probation.
In Lewis County Court on Friday, presided over by Judge John H. Crandall of Herkimer County, after having served the six months in county jail, Ryan D. Hoch, 23, was sentenced to time served and 10 years of probation.
Through his lawyer, Michael Spano of Syracuse, Hoch objected to some of the terms of that probation, most notably the provisions that prevented him from drinking or going to bars.
The prosecutor on the case, Oneida County Assistant District Attorney Laurie Lisi, spoke out against changing the drinking provisions because alcohol played a significant role in the incident.
She supported her position by noting Hoch admitted in his written statement to the State Police that he had consumed 10 beers but said he wasn’t drunk, the victim was inebriated and couldn’t protect herself and the incident happened at an underage drinking party.
Judge Crandall agreed to alter the condition to allow Hoch to drink, however, said Hoch cannot have a blood alcohol content of more that .07%, whether or not he is driving. A BAC of .08% or more will violate his terms of probation and could result in seven years in state prison with 10 years of parole.
Like during the plea proceeding, Hoch did not make a statement at first but then relented.
“I am really sorry I made a mistake,” Hoch said, “I just want to move on and succeed in my life.”
He made no mention of the victim and no victim statement was available to be read as had been anticipated for the session.
Following the sentencing, the parties scored Hoch’s crime to determine on what level he would be registered as a sex offender. Level 1 is the lowest and offenders at that level are not included in online listings.
Mrs. Lisi read explicit passages of the victim’s account of what happened to support scoring that would have required Hoch to register as a Level 2 offender while Mr. Spano rebutted the argument by noting the victim was drunk and therefore, “She’s a very poor historian.”
Ultimately, Judge Crandall agreed with Mr. Spano, ruling that Hoch would be required to register as a Level 1 sex offender.
Hoch’s guilty plea on Jan. 24 to felony first-degree sexual abuse satisfied the six additional charges for which he was indicted including two counts of first-degree attempted rape, one count of third-degree attempted rape and three other counts of first-degree sexual abuse, two of which involved “forcible compulsion.”
He admitted that he touched intimate body parts of his victim while she was “physically helpless” and could not consent on Jan. 13 2019 at a town of Martinsburg residence.
Judge Crandall and Mrs. Lisi were brought in for the case because county Judge Daniel R. King and District Attorney Leanne K. Moser had recused themselves.
Hoch was required to pay $1,425 in court fees, surcharges and fines.
A permanent order of protection was issued on behalf of the victim.