GREENVILLE - Union City resident Paul A. Jessup was sentenced on Friday after pleading guilty to two counts of Attempted Gross Sexual Imposition, a felony of the fifth degree, in the Darke County Court of Common Pleas.
After an emotional plea from the mother of his underage victims, Jessup was handed down a 90-day jail sentence with five days credit registered, a mandate of 60 months of intensive community sanctions from the Adult Parole Authority and 75 hours of required community service.
“To see your two girls go through stuff like this is devastating. I trusted him…,” said the victims’ mother. “Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that [Jessup] was capable of hurting them in any way.”
He is now required to register as a Tier I sex offender for the next 15 years with the local sheriff’s office, and could receive an additional felony charge for failing to do so.
“If it wasn’t for my oldest daughter having the strength and the courage to finally come through and tell me, this would still be going on today. And I just want you to take that into consideration,” plead the victims’ mother.
Darke County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Deborah S. Quigley recommended imposing a 9-month prison term for each offense served consecutively based on Jessup’s position of trust as the victims’ family member and his prior record.
Jessup was previously convicted of a first degree misdemeanor count of Endangering Children in January of 2000 in which he spent a total of 8 days in jail and one year of probation, which played a part in the consideration of his sentencing.
“I’m overwhelmed by this and I’m at a loss for words, your honor. It’s been quite devastating,” said Jessup. “I do apologize for any mistrust or hardships this has caused any of the family or my employer or the court. It’s been very devastating for everybody.”
Jessup was previously indicted in June 2013 on 10 serious felony charges, including six counts of Gross Sexual Imposition, felonies of the third degree, and four first degree felony counts of Rape, that all carried a possible life sentence due to the victims’ ages in the case.
During Friday’s sentencing, Darke County Common Pleas Judge Jonathan Hein disputed Jessup’s subjective version of the facts, saying ” to think there was some kind of inadvertence doesn’t wash with me. It’s intentional conduct. It’s pretty obvious to me that you can see the consequences of your meaningful, intentional behavior.”
The 55-year-old Jessup was accused of the serious sex crimes involving two female victims that were ages 8 and 12 at the time of the offenses that allegedly occurred in April of 2013.
The state dismissed the original indictment and chose to file a bill of information which allowed Jessup to waive a new indictment hearing by a Grand Jury and agree to a plea agreement in the case.