GREENVILLE – Despite pleas from his children – including his victim – a Versailles man will spend at least some time behind bars for his conviction on 12 misdemeanor sex offenses.
Alan R. Wuebker, 43, of Versailles, was sentenced to 30 days in jail on each of 12 counts of sexual imposition, a third-degree misdemeanor and Tier I sex offense. All but 90 days of the jail time was suspended.
The state, represented by Darke County Assistant Prosecutor Deborah Quigley, had recommended a jail term of 12 months total, while the defense requested community control sanctions only.
Arguing for consecutive 30-day terms for all 12 counts, Quigley stated, “This was not just one random act. This was a series of events that took place over a long period of time.”
Defense attorney Ben Eberly noted that the family already has been separated for eight months during the course of a companion case in juvenile court. He said Wuebker admitted his actions almost immediately upon questioning.
“Essentially within five minutes of being questioned about the activity, Mr. Wuebker made admissions, took responsibility and showed remorse,” Eberly said. Eberly added that Wuebker also voluntarily sought treatment prior to any court orders, and the family also participated in family counseling.
Wuebker had no criminal record and is a lifelong resident of Darke County.
Eberly said he believed any jail time would be “counterproductive” to progress made in his treatment so far, and also that his children have asked for “more time, not less” with their father.
Wuebker read a statement apologizing to the court.
Judge Jonathan P. Hein, Darke County Court of Common Pleas, acknowledged the requests from the family but said he could not ignore the seriousness of the crime.
“The tortured facts of this case have been out there for a long time,” Hein said. “It’s going to take a long time to unwind this. … There’s no magic wand that today’s sentence suddenly fixes all the problems.
“I’ve got letters from children here saying, ‘don’t make this worse’ and ‘we want to spend more time with our dad,’ and I understand that.
“That can’t happen,” Hein said in the first confirmation that the defendant would face at least some jail time.
Hein told the courtroom that he was not “being deaf to the pleas of the children to make this go away, that can’t happen today and it won’t because this has been a mess for a long time.”
The judge said he would not allow the situation to appear to be more minor than it was.
“If your children love and respect you,” Hein said to the defendant, “I get it and the letters indicate that, but there was love and respect that you should’ve been giving back. That didn’t happen and that’s how we got to this point. … We have a duty to protect children, not to victimize them.”
In addition to the jail time, Wuebker was sentenced to up to 60 months community control, 75 hours community service and will be required to register as a Tier I sex offender for 15 years.
Wuebker originally was charged with 12 counts of gross sexual imposition, felonies of the fourth degree. The victim was under the age of 16.
The charges on the indictment span from November 2013 through October 2014 and are based on an investigation by the Darke County Sheriff’s Office.
The amended charges carried no mandatory or presumed jail time. The maximum penalty for each count was 60 days in jail and $500 in fines, up to a total maximum of 18 months in jail and $6,000 in fines.
County Prosecutor R. Kelly Ormsby justified the lesser charge at the time the plea was submitted, telling the court that after his conversations with the victim he did not believe the state would be able to prove the force element of the felony offense.