A Coatesville man was given a suspended sentence in Putnam County Circuit Court Monday on a Class D felony charge of child seduction.
Roy K. Buchanan, 68, will spend 18 months on probation. Buchanan and his lawyer, Darrell Felling, requested that the charge be reduced to a Class A misdemeanor. Judge Matthew Headley denied the request, at least for the time being.
Headley also ordered Buchanan to do 24 hours of community service, go to counseling and complete a sex offender treatment program.
"When you have completed treatment, you may earn a misdemeanor conviction," Headley said. "I'll look at it again at that time, but I'm not going to set a specific date. But you have no priors in 68 years of life, and that should be noted."
Under the terms of a plea agreement, two additional charges of Class D felony child seduction were dropped in exchange for Buchanan's guilty plea to one charge.
Headley could have sentenced Buchanan to up to three years in prison.
Buchanan was arrested in August. He spent two days in jail before posting 10 percent of a $10,000 bond.
According to an affidavit of probable cause prepared by Indiana State Police Detective Deanna Jones, Jones was contacted on July 14 about a 17-year-old female who had told a counselor at a camp she was attending that she had been raped on more than one occasion. The minor identified Buchanan as her molester, court documents said.
The victim alleged that Buchanan raped her about 10 times, beginning in October 2007. She told authorities that she protested every time.
Buchanan has maintained that the sex was consensual.
Putnam County Probation officer Teresa Parrish told Headley she wouldn't recommend downgrading Buchanan's charge to a misdemeanor because, in her estimation, he didn't "show much remorse."
"The way it came off to me was that he felt he was lured into this situation by a promiscuous teenager," Parrish said.
Buchanan said he was "under a lot of stress" when he signed his confession, and that it didn't come across as he had intended it to.
"I've never been accused of anything like this," he said. "It wasn't that I didn't have any remorse … I wrote it wrong."
Parrish recommended that Buchanan be placed on probation and complete a sex offender treatment program.
Felling pointed out that his client had no prior criminal history, and asked Parrish if downgrading charges was something she often recommended in such a case.
"In this kind of offense, no," she said. "I'm not saying at a later time we wouldn't look at it."
Buchanan works as a truck driver. He told Headley a felony conviction could affect his livelihood, as it may prevent him from driving in and out of certain ports and hauling hazardous materials.
"That's the only reason I'm asking for a misdemeanor," Buchanan said. "Because of my job."
Felling said Buchanan's victim wrote Buchanan a letter after his arrest, saying she still loved and appreciated him. The victim was kept in the loop as the plea agreement was reached, and had no objection to Buchanan not serving any jail time, Felling said.
Before his sentence was handed down, Buchanan promised Headley he would never see him in his court again.
"This is something I really regret," Buchanan said. "It will never happen again. This has already cost me … I just hope that I can get on with my life."