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05-18-06 St. Marys Man sentenced to six-year prison term

By Margie Wuebker

  A St. Marys man will serve six years in prison and received a sexual predator classification following a Wednesday afternoon appearance in Mercer County Common Pleas Court.

  James W. Cordle, 58, 104 W. Spring St., lowered his head briefly as Judge Jeffrey Ingraham imposed a three-year prison term on each of two counts of gross sexual imposition. The time is to be served consecutively.

  The charges stem from incidents occurring during the summer of 2005, when he reportedly had sexual contact with a 12-year-old girl. The state dropped one count of rape in exchange for a guilty plea March 29.

  "I ain't going to do it anymore," Cordle said in halting fashion. "Nope, no more. No more."

  Peter VanArsdel, Cordle's court-appointed attorney, admitted his client does have a history of criminal conviction.  "The victim's family is not advocating a prison term," the attorney said. "They favor sanctions and counseling."

  Given Cordle's history of health problems, VanArsdel asked the judge to consider something less restrictive than prison.  

  Ingraham noted the psychological harm the victim suffered was exacerbated by her age. Additionally, he indicated the presentence investigation showed no remorse on the perpetrator's part.

  He directed Cordle to be placed in a facility where convicted sex offenders receive counseling. The facility also would have the capability to handle someone with heart problems and cancer, he added.

  During the preceding sex offender classification hearing, Ingraham asked Cordle whether there was any reason to postpone the proceeding.

  The Fort Barbee Hotel resident stammered and then pulled up his green polo shirt to reveal a circular bruise on his chest -- reportedly the aftereffects of a biopsy for suspected breast cancer.

  "That is not really legal justification not to proceed," Ingraham told Cordle, who sighed heavily before settling into a chair at the defense table.

  Previously labeled a sexual offender in an earlier Auglaize County case, Ingraham changed the classification to that of sexual predator. Upon his release from prison, Cordle will be required to register with the appropriate sheriff's office every 90 days for the remainder of his life.


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