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.