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Alleged Sex Offender To Plea In Federal Before County Court

OSWEGO, NY – The Oswego Town man facing multiple felony sex charges wants to see what his sentence will be like in federal court next week before hearing what Oswego County Court has in store for him.

Cory J. Ketcham, 36, of Rathburn Road, was charged September 2010 with (felonies) first- and second-degree rape, predatory sexual assault on a child (two counts), and criminal sexual act and (misdemeanors) sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child.

He allegedly had sexual contact with a female relative multiple times between 2008 and 2010.

He is also facing federal charges, due to child pornography allegedly found in his possession.

If Ketcham pleads guilty to one of the counts of predatory assault against a child, it would satisfy the other six counts in the indictment, Assistant District Attorney Mark Moody said last month.

If Ketcham enters a plea, based upon the information in the pre-plea investigation report, Oswego County Court Judge Walter Hafner said he’d promise him a 15 (years) to life sentence.

In January, Ketcham requested additional time to talk to the attorney representing him in federal court before deciding what to do in Oswego County Court.

In Oswego County Court on Thursday, defense attorney Joe Pagano said, “We’re not taking that offer, your honor. We can’t see the point of prosecuting him on the state level when he’s facing 90 years at the federal level. He is scheduled to go into federal court on Tuesday and plead guilty; there will be a sentencing a couple months after that. If he receives his 90 years, or lifetime, on the federal charges I don’t see the purpose of prosecuting him . . .”

“You can’t talk to me about that. You have to talk to Mr. Moody,” Oswego County Court Judge Walt Hafner interrupted. “I don’t know that there’s a standard for which an indictment can be dismissed based upon the fact that one is convicted and sentenced to 90 years in federal penitentiary.”

Pagano asked whether the county sentence would run concurrent with the federal time.

“Sure, I’ll give him that,” the judge acquiesced. “Fifteen to life, concurrent to 90 years? That’s not a problem.”

“Your honor, I’d like to make it very clear, 90 years would be, as I understand it, the maximum sentence. The minimum sentence would be 15 years,” Moody pointed out. “I don’t know if that changes your decision on consecutive or concurrent …”

“Not really,” the judge replied.

“I want to make it clear that he’s not automatically going to get 90 years,” Moody continued. He could get 15. And obviously judge, he’s indicted here. I don’t know that given the fact of his actions here I don’t think we’ll be dismissing it any point in time.”

After Ketcham enters his plea in federal court, there will be a sentence promise made, Pagano noted.

Hafner said he didn’t have a problem with allowing the defendant to enter a plea in federal court and then come back to county court to enter a plea.

Pagano said he has had discussions with a federal court spokesperson and was told the sentence there would be “in the higher end of the range.”

Ketcham is scheduled to be back in Oswego County Court on March 8.

New State System Notifies You When A Sex Offender Moves Into Your Neighborhood

You’ve been able to look up how many registered sex offenders live near you. Now, you can sign up to receive a notification when a sex offender moves into your area.

The state Division of Criminal Justice Services this week rolled out a program that will allow people to receive a message by e-mail, text message, fax or phone whenever an offender who is in the state’s offender registry moves into or out of a community.

The system uses the state’s NY-ALERT program, which sends out alerts on severe weather, missing children, transportation delays or public health advisories to those who sign up through the NY-ALERT website. The alerts are free.

The new sex offender notification system will allow users to pick up to three areas to monitor. These areas can include an entire county or can be as specific as within a quarter-mile of a given street address.

The system tracks only Level 2 and Level 3 sex offenders. By law, information on Level 1 offenders is available only to police or to those who call a special toll-free number.

The state’s sex offender website lists 315 names in its database as registered Level 2 or 3 sex offenders in Oswego County, though some of those names are duplicates with minor variations in the name.

Judge: Gosek Is A Level 2 Sex Offender

OSWEGO, NY – Former Oswego Mayor John Gosek will register as a Level 2 sex offender – for now.

The decision was made this afternoon (Aug. 24) by Oswego County Court Judge Walter Hafner.

John Gosek

John Gosek

The ex-mayor and his attorney, Emil Rossi, said they were disappointed in the judge’s ruling.

The Oswego County District Attorney’s office recommended Gosek be registered as a Level 2 sex offender, which implies a moderate risk of a repeat offense.

In court today, Rossi argued the current method of sex offender assessment used by the state doesn’t accurately assess Gosek’s situation.

According to Rossi, Gosek should be registered as a Level 1 sex offender, low risk of repeat offender.

“We are going to file a notice of appeal,” Rossi said outside the courtroom. “We wanted the Level 1.”

Gosek was arrested in 2005, in the wake of a federal sting, which revealed that he paid a woman, working with federal investigators, $250 to help him set up a meeting with two minors at a Syracuse area hotel.

He pled guilty to federal charges of using a cell phone to persuade, induce, entice and coerce two 15-year-old girls into sexual activity.

The teens never existed; and, Gosek maintains that never in his adult life has he had sex with minors.

He served 37 months in the Low Security Correctional Institution in Butner, N.C. and was released May 4.

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