MURRAY -- More than 21/2 years after they were charged, three National Guardsmen accused of various sexual crimes pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges Tuesday.
Anthony Tubolino, Tyler Hart and Jacob Ruth were charged in June 2017 after a victim reported to police that the three, along with co-defendant Austin Dennis, sexually assaulted her after supplying her with alcohol.
Dennis also appeared in Calloway Circuit Court on Tuesday, but opted to request a jury trial rather than accepting a plea agreement.
Hart, who initially faced one count each of first-degree sodomy, a Class B felony carrying a possible penalty of up to 20 years, and first-degree sexual abuse, a Class D felony, pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual misconduct, a Class A misdemeanor.
The plea agreement called for a recommendation of 12 months in jail on each charge, and also the condition that Hart testify against any of his co-defendants should they go to trial.
Tubolino also initially faced a count of first-degree sodomy, as well as one count each of first-degree rape, also a Class B felony, and third-degree unlawful transaction with a minor, a Class A misdemeanor.
Tubolino's two felony charges were each amended to sexual misconduct, and he also pleaded guilty to the unlawful transaction charge, with a recommendation of 12 months on each count.
He also pleaded guilty to one count of driving under the influence, with a recommended 30-day sentence.
Following the same pattern, Ruth also pleaded guilty to one count of sexual misconduct, which was amended from the initial charge of first-degree sodomy.
Calloway Circuit Judge James Jameson accepted the guilty pleas and set a sentencing date for all three defendants on April 20, at which time he will determine whether to accept the recommendations.
He set a trial for Dennis, who faces one count of first-degree sodomy, to begin May 27.
Kentucky's sexual misconduct statute defines the offense as engaging in "sexual intercourse or deviate sexual intercourse with another person without the latter's consent."
First-degree rape incorporates "forcible compulsion" or the person being physically helpless or under 12 years old.
First-degree sodomy is defined as "deviate sexual intercourse" with the same conditions as rape.
Calloway Commonwealth's Attorney Dennis Foust said the agreement was made with the agreement of the victim in the case.
"It still boils down to one person's word against another," Foust said, noting that a trial could have been complicated by having four defendants who wouldn't be required to testify to incriminating evidence about themselves.
"Under these circumstances, we felt like this was the best resolution that we could get."