|Pratt sentenced to life in prison|
|Written by Editor|
|Thursday, 14 June 2012 17:57|
By WILL E. SANDERS
Joel W. Pratt, 34, faced a total of 20 life sentences in addition to more than 20 additional years in prison after an April court hearing where he entered a plea of no contest and was found guilty of 20 rape charges, three charges of pandering sexually oriented matter involving a juvenile and two counts of pandering obscenity involving a minor.
Judge Christopher Gee sentenced the man to life in prison without the possibility of parole for each rape count, which are to be run concurrently. In addition, Gee sentenced him to eight years for the two pandering sexually oriented matter charges and 18 months for the three pandering obscenity charges; all to be served consecutively to all other sentences.
Pratt told the judge there was nothing he had to say in his defense at the hearing.
“There is nothing I can say to defend my actions, your honor,” Pratt told the court.
Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Tony Kendell, in asking Pratt to be imprisoned for the rest of his life, told the court it was one of the worst cases he handled.
“This child is scarred for life,” Kendell said. “It will always be with her. … Sick and twisted, that is how I would describe it. This defendant can’t be helped no matter how many resources are thrown his way.”
In handing down the sentence, Gee said said it was difficult to find the right words for the crimes Pratt committed, but called the crimes “despicable” and “reprehensible.”
“You are incapable of living in decent society,” Gee said, noting that Pratt displayed “an eagerness to exploit children.”
Gee added that if Pratt was ever released from prison he would continue to “prey on children.”
Court documents state Pratt committed the rape offenses at his Tipp City home from Sept. 14, 2010, through Sept. 4, 2011, while the remaining five felonies transpired last year between October and December.
Pratt was taken into custody Dec. 22 by sheriff’s deputies after federal authorities and an investigation revealed the rape and child pandering allegations.
A search warrant executed at Pratt’s home resulted in a computer being seized as evidence and sexually explicit photographs being recovered from the system’s hard drive. Some of those images were taken off the Internet, while other photographs appeared to have been taken by Pratt, according to the Miami County Sheriff’s Office.
For each rape charge Pratt faced a sentence of between 15 years to life in prison.
In a hearing prior to the sentencing, Pratt was labeled as a tier III sex offender, which will require him to register as a sex offender routinely for the rest of his life should he ever get out of prison.
|Last Updated on Monday, 18 June 2012 15:11|