A Portage man was sentenced to jail and probation in Columbia County Circuit Court on Monday and reminded by the judge that failure to comply could result in nearly a half century behind bars.
In a sentencing hearing for revocation of probation, Judge Alan White asked Levi Ramone Dacorah Kearney, 20, if he understood the current situation.
“Tell me what that means in your world?” White asked.
“It just means that I’m throwing my life away and that’s not something that I want to be doing at my age,” said Kearney, “and I would like to get this all out of the way without having to be in the court system.”
White clarified that his question was in regards to the specific agreement that was being reached in court at the moment.
“No, what does a deferred prosecution mean for a felony sexual assault,” said White. “Can you tell me what that means?”
“It means I have to complete probation or get revoked,” said Kearney.
“It means it would go to sentencing and a felony sexual assault would be a rather serious matter,” said White.
Kearney was given a deferred prosecution and placed on four years’ probation on July 29 after entering a plea of no contest to charges of second-degree sexual assault of a child and fourth-degree sexual assault.
According to court documents, Kearney was in a relationship with a 15-year-old girl between July and November 2014, which had ended relatively amicably until the girl and her mother found a Facebook page showing Kearney as Levi “Nonstop” Kearney, and suggesting that there had been other underage girls he had been with during that time.
Kearney was arrested again in November when Portage police were called to a disturbance at an apartment building on West Cook Street where Kearney was accused of punching a 16-year-old in the face when, according to the teenager, he found Kearney’s wallet in the hallway and questioned him about it.
After being chased down by Portage police, Kearney was arrested and held in Columbia County Jail on $500 cash bond.
“You realize that this new probation that you’re going to be on is going to be for over two years. If that ends in the same way, you’re going to have some other consequences to deal with there,” said White.
Working out the math out loud, White added a possible 40-year prison sentence for a sexual assault charge and a potential six-year prison sentence for felony bail jumping.
“So that’s 46 years, you know how old you would be in 46 years?”
“I think I would rather kill myself than doing that,” said Kearney. “I understand that I would be over 60 when I got out and that is not the life I would want.”
Notwithstanding White’s brief insistence that there is life after 60, the gravity of the matter was made clear enough.
The charges of physical abuse of a child, and obstructing an officer were dismissed in his recent case, leaving a felony bail jumping charge, to which Kearney entered a no contest plea.
Kearney was then sentenced to three consecutive four-month jail sentences and two years’ probation.
“I hope that almost a year in jail will have made its impression on you,” said White, ”and a lasting impression on you when you are 60 instead of 20.”