Larry Tucker being led away following sentencing in the Meigs County Court of Common Pleas. Photo by Carrie Rose.

Tucker Sentenced

POMEROY, Ohio – Larry Tucker, 57, sat in the courtroom in which he once worked and learned his fate as the verdict on sexual predator specifications was determined and he was sentenced for victimizing 11 women in his role as a jail officer and a probation officer. Tucker was found to not be a sexual predator, but was sentenced to 20 years and six month for his crimes.

Judge Linton Lewis presided over the proceedings which included the specifications on sexual predator along with sentencing for the 24 count convictions.

Appearing for the state was special prosecutor from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, Angela Canepa. Canepa also handled the prosecution during the trial in 2019.

Tucker appeared with his attorney, William Burton and co-counsel Donnie Burton. The Burtons were privately retained by Tucker following Tucker’s conviction and dismissal court-appointed Kirk McVey. The change in attorneys was one of the factors that drug the case out almost a year before the hearing on the sexual predator portion of the charges and sentencing for the previous convictions.

Hearing on Predator Specifications

Canepa argued for the previous testimony and convictions to be considered by Judge Lewis. William Burton argued against it, but Judge Lewis ruled both the testimony and convictions would be considered by the court.

William Burton called Dr. Bob Stinson. Dr. Stinson is a psychologist and was qualified an expert witness by the court. Stinson appeared on behalf of the defense. Dr. Stinson testified that he had evaluated Tucker for five hours along with examining other documentation. Dr. Stinson stated that he evaluated Tucker to be a low risk for reoffending. Stinson said it was not unremarkable for Tucker to deny the charges as the “majority of sex offenders deny or minimize their offenses.”

Dr. Stinson also testified that Tucker had a small victim pool, which would also minimize his likeliness to reoffend. He also stated that age was a factor in reoffending as well.

On cross examination, Canepa asked about the reliability of the assessments used to evaluate Tucker’s risk to reoffend. She questioned Dr. Stinson on how Tucker not being truthful might impact the results. He testified that there were many factors involved and while it may impact the results to a degree, there are other factors to the testing. He also testified that Tucker has low self-esteem and that Tucker has the desire for people to see him in a positive light. Canepa questioned about the age factor as caught and convicted sex offenders are often held in prison for long periods of time. Canepa read from some of the Dr. Stinson testified Tucker was “highly defensive“ and “guarded” during his examination. Stinson said Tucker denied his guilt, and therefore treatment was not conducive because Tucker does not see the need to treatment. Tucker reportedly admitted to sexual harassment language, but not the physical acts such as exposing himself.

Other alleged victims of inappropriate behavior including former inmates at the Middleport Jail and even female co-workers of Tucker testified to inappropriate remarks, notes and that Tucker flirted with them. As far as the co-workers went once their supervisor was made aware and addressed it, the behavior stopped.

The state also had a professional psychologist evaluate Tucker. Dr. Jamie Adkins testified that she evaluated Tucker. She was deemed an expert by the court. She noted how Tucker continued to deny he did anything wrong even stating that he believed his attorney at the time was in league with the judge and prosecutor to “railroad” him. Dr. Adkins testified that Tucker was not motivated for treatment and therefore it was not recommended as Tucker believes he has done nothing wrong. “My opinion is he is at risk for reoffending,” she stated.

Throughout the afternoon the testimony went on but in the end, Judge Lewis ruled that Tucker was not a sexual predator.

Throughout Donnie Burton objected to the testimony as being irrelevant, not probative or evidential. The younger Burton also gave a closing statement, “There is no evidence to support that he will reoffend.”

In the end, Judge Lewis agreed.

Sentencing

Canepa briefly went through the 11 victims of Larry Tucker. She said they were all in a vulnerable position and he used his position as a jail officer and probation officer to perpetrate his crimes. She implored the court to consider the impact on the victims and what it has done to them.

Canepa also argued for the maximum sentencing on each of the charges and for those sentences to be carried out consecutively.

Judge Lewis sentenced him to 20 years and six months for “pain and heartache beyond calculation” to the victims. Some of the terms were concurrent while others were consecutive. He was also ordered to pay court costs. Tucker will be credited for time served.

Tucker remained silent as the sentencing was handed down and made no statement in his defense.

Tucker was charged with: six counts of Sexual Battery, all felonies of the third degree; eight counts of Kidnapping, all felonies of the first degree; six counts of Gross Sexual Imposition, all felonies of the fourth degree; four counts of Attempted Compelling Prostitution, all felonies of the fourth degree; one count of Theft in Office, a felony of the fifth degree; and one count of Soliciting, a misdemeanor of the third degree. Some of the counts merged, however. Ultimately he was found guilty on 24 of 25 charges.

In May of 2019, the jury found the following:

Case 1

  • Guilty on Count 1: Sexual Battery 
  • Guilty on Count 2: Sexual Battery
  • Guilty on Count 3: Sexual Battery 
  • Guilty on Count 4: Sexual Battery 
  • Guilty on Count 5: Sexual Battery 
  • Guilty on Count 6: Kidnapping 
  • Guilty on Count 7: Attempted Sexual Battery 
  • Guilty on Count 8: Kidnapping 
  • Guilty on Count 9: Gross Sexual Imposition 
  • Guilty on Count 10: Gross Sexual Imposition 
  • Guilty on Count 11: Attempted Sexual Battery 
  • Guilty on Count 12: Soliciting 
  • Guilty on Count 13: Kidnapping 
  • Guilty on Count 14: Attempted Sexual Battery 
  • Guilty on Count 15: Kidnapping against Victim 
  • Guilty on Count 16: Sexual Imposition 
  • Guilty on Count 17: Gross Sexual Imposition 
  • Guilty on Count 18: Attempted Sexual Battery 
  • Guilty on Count 19: Attempted Compelling Prostitution
  • Guilty on Count 20: Sexual Battery against Victim
  • Guilty on Count 21: Theft in Office

Case 2

  • Guilty on Count 1: Gross Sexual Imposition 
  • Guilty on Count 2: Kidnapping 
  • Guilty on Count 3: Kidnapping 
  • Guilty on Count 4: Attempted Sexual Battery 

The counts involve a period of seven years in which Tucker was convicted of victimizing 11 women under his authority while he was employed as a Middleport Jail Corrections Officer and a Meigs County Court of Common Pleas Probation Officer. From January 2011 to November 1, 2017, Tucker used his position to terrorize women that were awaiting trial or were to be serving community service and probation in Meigs County. Throughout the trial a pattern of behavior became clear as the 11 victims told similar accounts of Tucker’s sexual misconduct toward them.

Tucker used his knowledge of the Middleport Jail and Meigs County Courthouse to stay out of security camera view. He used the jury room at the courthouse and supply closet at the jail to perpetuate victimization of many of the women. He tried to get the victims to tell him when their parents, children, boyfriends, or husbands were gone so he could go to their house with the intent of having sexual conduct with the women. Tucker clearly and repeatedly told the women of his position of authority over them. He even offered some women money to have sex with him.

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