McGuire sentenced to 10 years with four suspended

Wanda English Burnett, Editor

Nearly five years after a nine-year-old was molested, her perpetrator was brought to justice.

Justin McGuire, 25, of Versailles responded to the charge of Child Molesting, a Class B Felony with a guilty plea in May of this year, just days before a jury trial was set to begin. He was sentenced Tuesday, July 28 to the minimum allowed by law, ten years with four suspended to probation.

Defense attorney John Watson referred to the pre-sentence investigation document, stating that McGuire had only a minor brush with the law, a minor consuming charge that was even knocked down to a pre-trial diversion. He offered the statement that his client is unlikely to re-offend. He also referred to the number of hearings in the case with respect to the defendant’s mental condition. He cited his client’s intelligence quota as being in the borderline range of mental retardation.

Prosecuting Attorney Ric Hertel also recommended the ten-year, four-year suspended sentence.
All involved were on the same page with the sentence recommendation, which Ripley County Circuit Court Judge Carl Taul granted. The defendant will also be required to pay court costs, and after serving his prison term, be on probation following the conditions set forth for sex offenders. He will also be required to complete the sex offender and monitoring program either in prison or upon his release.

The conditions of probation were made clear to McGuire with the Judge specifically asking him if he had read and understood them. He said he had.

Judge Taul immediately remanded McGuire to police custody with ISP Det. Tom Baxter escorting him to the Ripley County Jail.

The case has been ongoing since 2007 when the victim reported to her mother that the incident had taken place at a relatives’ home in Ripley County while visiting in January of 2004. The victim lives in Florida. According to Ripley Publishing Co. files, the Indiana State Police and Florida authorities worked together and charges were filed in Ripley County in the fall of 2007.

The case had taken many twists and turns and shortly after the guilty plea was entered in May, the prosecutor told the newspaper it was a tremendous victory for the victim. On Tuesday after the final decision, the prosecutor said he still felt relieved for the victim in the respect she didn’t have to testify.