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May 10, 2013

Lawton man accused of rape gets prison time

McALESTER — A Lawton man who was accused of second degree rape and lewd acts pleaded no contest Thursday in Pittsburg County District Court to reduced charges and was sentenced to prison.

In June of 2011, Kyle Eugene Avery, 22, allegedly engaged in inappropriate sexual behavior with a 14-year-old girl, according to court records, and was charged Sept. 23 with one count of lewd or indecent proposals or acts to a child under 16 years of age and second-degree rape.

According to a police affidavit, Avery inappropriately touched the underage girl and later “texted” her with inappropriate sexual requests.

Avery was set to go to trial on the charges Thursday, according to court records. Before the trial began, Avery reached a plea bargain agreement with the District 18 District Attorney’s office. Just before noon Thursday, Avery appeared in District 18 District Judge Thomas Bartheld’s courtroom.

Avery settled two felony cases against him while in court Thursday. First, the rape charge was dismissed. According to District 18 Assistant District Attorney Chuck Sullivan, the DA’s office did not believe the burden of proof could be met on the rape charge. “Events described by the victim and another state’s witness did not match,” Sullivan said. So the rape charge was dismissed.

As part of a plea bargain agreement, the second count was amended to assault with intent to commit a felony. Avery pleaded no contest to this charge and a felony charge in another case in which he assaulted a correctional officer at the Pittsburg County jail.

Avery was sentenced to 10 years, with all but the first 18 months suspended. The 14-year-old victim’s father appeared in court and said he agreed to the sentence. I just want to make sure that Avery is not allowed to have contact with my daughter when he gets out, the girl’s father said. Avery was ordered to have no contact with the victim after his release from prison.

Avery’s attorney, Ronnie May, said Avery planned to return to Montana after his release and had no intention of contacting the victim.

Both Sullivan and May said the correctional officer who was the victim in Avery’s other case had also agreed to the plea bargain agreement.

Judge Bartheld then spoke with the young girl’s father. I will not allow this if you are not comfortable with it, Bartheld said. “Do you think this is what’s best for your daughter?” Bartheld asked. “Yes I do sir,” he answered.

 Avery was ordered to register as a sexual offender upon his release from prison.

Contact Rachel Petersen at rpetersen@mcalesternews.com.

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