Man to face trial on child sex abuse charges

Published 11:20 am Monday, October 28, 2013

A man who pleaded guilty to a sex crime could now be on trail at the next docket after a court appearance Friday afternoon.

Lawrence Lewis, Jr. was accused of and pleaded guilty to second-degree sexual abuse against a female over the age of 12 – a crime that dates back to March 2012.

However, the factual basis of Lewis’ plea was incorrect.

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“The judge accepted our motion to set aside the guilty plea based on its factual basis,” Assistant District Attorney Jon Folmar said. “The factual basis of the plea had the alleged abuse occurring when the victim was over the age of 12. The facts are that all alleged abuse occurred when the victim was under 12. That’s the difference between sexual abuse second degree and sexual abuse first degree.”

Lewis entered a guilty plea shortly before a trial was set to begin earlier this fall and was scheduled to be sentenced Friday.

Folmar said the decision enter a motion to set aside judgment and ask for a new trial date came because there was a chance that the entered guilty plea might be overturned later because of the discrepancy in the age of the victim.

“Rather than have a reversal of the plea in appellate court, the district attorney decided that it was in everyone’s best interest to set aside a guilty plea at this time,” Folmar said. “The case has been moved to the next trial docket.”