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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Duncan sentenced to eight years for sex with minor

Friday, December 21, 2012

Emily Duncan
With the Putnam County prosecutor asking the court to consider how it treats female sex offenders compared to their male counterparts, a Roachdale woman was given an eight-year sentence Wednesday for sexual misconduct with a minor.

Putnam Circuit Court Judge Matthew Headley sentenced 35-year-old Emily J. Duncan to eight years with two years to be executed at the Department of Correction, two on home detention and four suspended.

Duncan faced two Class B felony charges of sexual misconduct with a minor, but Headley combined them into one charge for sentencing, as both acts took place in a single incident.

The sentence was less than that requested by Prosecutor Tim Bookwalter -- eight years with six executed -- but exceeded the request by defense attorney Tyler Helmond that Duncan be placed on home detention and allowed to move to Maryland with a male companion.

In handing down the sentence, Headley acknowledged that Duncan had no previous criminal record, but also pointed out she has continued to deny the allegations for which the court found her guilty in an Oct. 24 bench trial.

The court ruled Duncan was guilty of having sex with a 15-year-old male friend of her daughter on May 14, 2011. She was arrested on Oct. 5 of that year after her daughter reported Duncan to school authorities.

In court, Bookwalter also pointed to Duncan's continued denial of the charges.

"I read in the presentence investigation that basically she's throwing the victim under the bus," Bookwalter said.

In statements to police and later in court, Duncan said she called the youth into her bedroom to confront him about his drug use.

The teen, on the other hand, said Duncan sent him a sexually suggestive text message and later had sex with him in her room.

"The most disturbing part of this case," Bookwalter argued, "is she has not confronted the truth."

The prosecutor then turned his line of argument to the way the court handles female sex offenders and male victims compared to male offenders who prey on young women.

Bookwalter posed the question, are female offenders treated the same as male offenders?

"It's the state's position that we should treat them the same," he argued.

Helmond, who replaced public defender Sydney Tongret on the case, requested only house arrest for his client.

He called Anthony Nash, a male companion of Duncan, to the stand. Nash was requesting that Duncan be allowed to live with him in Maryland.

Nash said he met Duncan online and had known her for about two years, with their courtship beginning about 18 months ago. She lived full time with him from February through October of this year.

Nash works as a defense contractor with the National Security Agency, and said there had been some questions as to whether Duncan could live with him with a felony on her record.

Although Teresa Parrish of Putnam County Adult Probation had previously told the court this would not be a possibility, Nash indicated otherwise.

"I have clearance with the government," Nash said. "She is allowed to live with me."

He continued by saying Duncan had lived with him from February until October and he had seen her make strides in that time, attending therapy the entire time she was in Maryland.

"She had taken it on head on," Nash said. "She was a much happier person than the one I met originally."

Nash even said if necessary he would change the visitation arrangements with his daughter in order to have Duncan live with him. The girl lives in New York with her mother, but stays with her father one week a month.

"In the event that were the case, I will change my visitation schedule -- I will go to New York to see my daughter," Nash said.

The court's ruling made this step unnecessary, with Parrish, Bookwalter and Headley all expressing their doubts that another state would accept a sex offender under the terms of the Interstate Compact for Adult Offender Supervision.

"Most of the time they will not accept (sex offenders) unless they have to," Parrish said.

Following the hearing, Duncan was remanded to the care of the Putnam County Sheriff's Department. She has credit for serving 60 days in the Putnam County Jail.

Duncan will be transferred to the Department of Correction and upon release will have to register as a sex offender, and again any time she moves to a new address.