The Morehead News

Local News

January 9, 2009

Sex offender gets shock probation

Circuit Judge Beth Maze granted shock probation Dec. 23 to convicted child predator Paul Terry and now the court and the commonwealth will wait for the defendant to undergo a sex offender’s evaluation to see if he could potentially re-offend.

Maze said she granted shock probation so that Terry, of Jackson, would have to follow strict conditions including completing sex offender treatment.

Terry pleaded guilty in August to the charges of using electronic means to induce a minor to engage in sex (felony) and distribution obscene material to a minor over the Internet (misdemeanor), and was sentenced Sept. 5 to four years in prison.

Commonwealth Attorney Keen Johnson said he agrees with the judge’s decision, but when he discovered shock probation was granted to Terry, Johnson researched the statute based on the defendant’s misdemeanor charge.

While doing so, Johnson discovered Terry should have been ordered a sex offender’s evaluation prior to his sentencing.

“Terry wasn’t required an evaluation for the felony charge, but he was for the misdemeanor,” Johnson said Wednesday. “Not seeing this before he was sentenced was just something none of us saw at the time.”

Maze said the class D felony is not an offense, which would require Terry to register as a sex offender. She said her reason for granting shock probation was due to the recent early release of prisoners across the state by the Kentucky Parole Board.

“The way the parole board is now, they would have let him out anyway to go back on the streets without any treatment,” Maze said. “This is a heinous crime, and I did not want him released. But if I parole him, then I have the ability to order him into sex offender’s treatment. That’s something he would not receive in prison.”

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