Just before closing arguments Wednesday morning, a man charged with burglary and attempted rape opted to plead guilty.
After a series of back and forth negotiations between the attorneys and Telvin D. Sturgis, 25, he pleaded to burglary in the first degree and misdemeanor sexual battery in exchange for a prison sentence of 20 years followed by one year on probation.
Richmond County Superior Court Judge John Flythe, who presided over the three-day trial cut short by the plea, accepted the negotiated sentence. Flythe denied the defense’s request to sentence Sturgis under the First Offender Act.
In this case, Sturgis was arrested for breaking into a woman’s home and attempting to rape her on Aug. 16, 2014. While Sturgis insisted there was no attempted rape, he admitted Wednesday he was guilty of sexual battery.
Defense attorney Dan Franck sought First Offender status for Sturgis to improve his chances for employment once he is released from prison. Sturgis is married with four children to support, Franck said. Sturgis, who had no prior criminal record, attended college for three years and had maintained steady employment.
But Assistant District Attorney McKenzie Gray argued against allowing Sturgis to have First Offender status. The victim in this case was consistent in her account of what happened that night, which included an attempt at sexual assault, Gray said.
In addition to that, he was previously fired from a job for trying to force himself on a female co-worker, Gray said. He also was accused of trying to force himself on a hotel maid in Florida, Gray said. He wasn’t charged in either case.
Gray also noted that while Sturgis was free on bond for the burglary and attempted rape, he was arrested on multiple charges of child molestation. In that case, Sturgis told an investigator that he thought the victim wanted the sexual contact because of the way she talked and dressed – which is typical of predators, Gray said.
The child molestation charges are pending. Sturgis has pleaded not guilty in that case.
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